Best Biography of George Thomas?

JeffBrooks

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#1
What is the best available biography of George Thomas? He has been a hard task for the biographers, as he never wrote a memoir and burned his personal papers. But of those that have been written, which is the most comprehensive and well-written?

I have read Master of War: The Life of General George H. Thomas, by Benson Bobrick, which was good, if a bit hagiographic.
 

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Andy Cardinal

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#4
I just finished Education in Violence & really liked it. I have just picked up the Wills book but haven't gotten far enough to form an opinion.
 
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#5
What is the best available biography of George Thomas? He has been a hard task for the biographers, as he never wrote a memoir and burned his personal papers. But of those that have been written, which is the most comprehensive and well-written?

I have read Master of War: The Life of General George H. Thomas, by Benson Bobrick, which was good, if a bit hagiographic.
"George Thomas Virginian for the Union " Einholf.
Much more balanced then Bobrick.
Leftyhunter
 
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#7
But wouldn’t you say at some point one should read Bobrick to get a fuller picture of Thomas and some of the controversies surrounding his career?
Folks can buy how many books they want. I own both I like Einholf much better. Others may feel the opposite. One can use book reviews,as well.
Leftyhunter
 

Bee

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#9
No. Bobrick adds nothing but hagiography.
Yes. From the sections that I have read in this book, the only addition to my CW reading experience would be the addition of one author's flights of grandeur regarding his topic.
 

cash

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#10
Yes. From the sections that I have read in this book, the only addition to my CW reading experience would be the addition of one author's flights of grandeur regarding his topic.
Back in 2009, I participated in a discussion regarding Bobrick's hagiographic steaming pile. It's in the comments section of an article Bobrick wrote for History News Network.

Scroll down to the very bottom and work your way up to see the comments in chronological order.

http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/62002

Bobrick couldn't tell what was new in his book, and he had the same type lame excuse for his errors we've seen elsewhere. "I rushed to put the article out" is unprofessional, unconvincing, and most probably untruthful.
 

David Moore

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#11
Folks can buy how many books they want. I own both I like Einholf much better. Others may feel the opposite. One can use book reviews,as well.
Leftyhunter
I suppose it depends on why one reads history. However if one is going to want to comment on Thomas and some of the “controversies “ concerning him I think one should be versed in as many interpretations of those controversies as possible.
 
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#13
I suppose it depends on why one reads history. However if one is going to want to comment on Thomas and some of the “controversies “ concerning him I think one should be versed in as many interpretations of those controversies as possible.
Well I read both and for what it's worth Einholf seems more objective.
Leftyhunter
 

David Moore

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#14
Well I read both and for what it's worth Einholf seems more objective.
Leftyhunter
An earlier book (1964) is The Indomitable Warrior by Wilbur Thomas which is critical of Grant, Schofield and others. When one uses the word objective
one must also use the word documented. When one comes to an against the conventional wisdom conclusion and writes about it that work is often called not objective. The proof really is in the documentation. Stephen Starr also wrote an interesting essay about Thomas and Grant in 1864. It’s available on line through the Cincinnati CWRT web site. http://www.cincinnaticwrt.org/data/ccwrt_history/talks_text/starr_grant_thomas.html
 

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#15
Stephen Starr also wrote an interesting essay about Thomas and Grant in 1864. It’s available on line through the Cincinnati CWRT web site. http://www.cincinnaticwrt.org/data/ccwrt_history/talks_text/starr_grant_thomas.html
Quoted from the article:

In contrast with the brilliant Lee, Jackson and Sherman, he was thought to be merely a head-on slugger. The tragically costly, futile attack at Cold Harbor was the measure of his tactical skill.
Can someone please explain why the same thing is not being said about Lee's execution of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg the year before?? I am only a couple of paragraphs into the article, and the author is already losing me with broad statements such as this. I guess there is no accounting for the strategy, tactics, and capture of Vicksburg....
 

cash

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#16
Quoted from the article:

In contrast with the brilliant Lee, Jackson and Sherman, he was thought to be merely a head-on slugger. The tragically costly, futile attack at Cold Harbor was the measure of his tactical skill.
Can someone please explain why the same thing is not being said about Lee's execution of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg the year before?? I am only a couple of paragraphs into the article, and the author is already losing me with broad statements such as this. I guess there is no accounting for the strategy, tactics, and capture of Vicksburg....
It's poor history as well, since Grant didn't have anything to do with the tactics at Cold Harbor. But I'll read further.
 

David Moore

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#17
Quoted from the article:

In contrast with the brilliant Lee, Jackson and Sherman, he was thought to be merely a head-on slugger. The tragically costly, futile attack at Cold Harbor was the measure of his tactical skill.
Can someone please explain why the same thing is not being said about Lee's execution of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg the year before?? I am only a couple of paragraphs into the article, and the author is already losing me with broad statements such as this. I guess there is no accounting for the strategy, tactics, and capture of Vicksburg....
Don’t dismiss him. Starr wrote a three volume history of the Union Cavalry. He was a pretty eminent CW historian. The article is really about 1864.
 

cash

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#18
He does poorly with the messages between Grant and Thomas. See Professor Simpson's comments in the discussion I lined earlier regarding Bobrick's book.
 

Bee

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#19
Back in 2009, I participated in a discussion regarding Bobrick's hagiographic steaming pile. It's in the comments section of an article Bobrick wrote for History News Network.

Scroll down to the very bottom and work your way up to see the comments in chronological order.

http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/62002

Bobrick couldn't tell what was new in his book, and he had the same type lame excuse for his errors we've seen elsewhere. "I rushed to put the article out" is unprofessional, unconvincing, and most probably untruthful.
Fascinating dialogue and rather illuminating, too. Thanks for the heads up.
 
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#20
Quoted from the article:

In contrast with the brilliant Lee, Jackson and Sherman, he was thought to be merely a head-on slugger. The tragically costly, futile attack at Cold Harbor was the measure of his tactical skill.
Can someone please explain why the same thing is not being said about Lee's execution of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg the year before?? I am only a couple of paragraphs into the article, and the author is already losing me with broad statements such as this. I guess there is no accounting for the strategy, tactics, and capture of Vicksburg....
Interesting that Sherman is considered brilliant. Einholf makes a,strong argument that if Sherman would of listened to Thomas while on the offensive from Chattanooga to Atlanta ,Sherman could of saved time and suffered far less casualties.
Plus we have the whole debate about Shiola.
Yes Sherman's March through Georgia was brilliant.
Leftyhunter
 

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