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Partners in Command


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About the Author

Joseph T. Glatthaar is Stephenson Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Glatthaar follows his seminal Forged in Battle with this provocative study of high-level command structures in the Civil War. By 1861, warfare was too complex to be directed by a single individual in the style of Napoleon; political and military leaders needed to learn how to collaborate. Glatthaar's six case studies show that the process depended heavily on professional attitudes, especially the leaders' ability to understand one another's strengths and weaknesses. It was often a difficult task when dealing with statesmen and generals: witness the lack of cooperation between Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan, and on the Confederate side between Jefferson Davis and Joseph E. Johnston. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson for the Confederacy; Ulysses Grant, William Sherman and Admiral David Porter for the Union illustrate effective combinations, but they were all military men. Glatthaar calls the Lincoln-Grant team ``the Ultimate Success'' in a process still in the trial-and-error stage--and which, more than a century later, he notes, still involves large amounts of serendipity. (Dec.)

No serious analysis of the Civil War would be complete without an in-depth look at the personalities that formed its outcome. This work is written as a series of minibiographies; each chapter explores the relationships behind the most successful generals and leaders of the war. Lee and Jackson, Lincoln and McClellan, and Grant and Sherman are typical of the character studies. Not all relationships were favorable, as with Lincoln and McClellan or Davis and Johnston, but through an understanding of these personality conflicts, the overall strategy of the war is brought into context. Glatthaar ( Forged in Battle , LJ 10/1/89) writes with understanding and depth while giving insight into the individuals. He also stresses that it was their professionalism and call to duty that ``lay at the interactive bedrock of these successful military partnerships.'' Highly recommended for most libraries.-- Barbara Zaborowski, Cambria Cty. Lib., Johnstown, Pa.

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