Favorite Biography of Daniel Sickles

WJC

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#1
With the holidays upon us, I am considering buying a friend and history buff a biography of Dan Sickles. Does anyone have a recommendation?
Thanks for your help!
 

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Bee

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#2
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Eric Wittenberg

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#3
Yes: Sickles at Gettysburg By Jim Hessler is hands down the best treatment of "Dirty Dan" Sickles. @War Horse & @Eric Wittenberg would probably agree :smile: The book covers Sickles' life from a young man to old age.
It's a great book, no doubt. But it's also not a biography in the conventional sense. It provides a lot of biographical details on Dirty Dan's life, but it's not a biography. It provides those details in order to put Dirty Dan's role at Gettysburg--both during the battle and also post-war--in their proper historical context.

If you want a true biography, Thomas Kinnealy's American Scoundrel is probably the best. However, Kinnealy is an Aussie and is not a Civil War guy. He gets details wrong, and he is not knowledgeable about the Civil War. But it's a very good study of Dirty Dan's political life and worth reading as such.
 

Bee

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It's a great book, no doubt. But it's also not a biography in the conventional sense. It provides a lot of biographical details on Dirty Dan's life, but it's not a biography. It provides those details in order to put Dirty Dan's role at Gettysburg--both during the battle and also post-war--in their proper historical context.

If you want a true biography, Thomas Kinnealy's American Scoundrel is probably the best. However, Kinnealy is an Aussie and is not a Civil War guy. He gets details wrong, and he is not knowledgeable about the Civil War. But it's a very good study of Dirty Dan's political life and worth reading as such.
I changed my post --> you don't have to agree with me, now :D

There is so much biographical information in Hessler's book that I actually forgot that it was not written as a biography.
 

WJC

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#5

WJC

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It's a great book, no doubt. But it's also not a biography in the conventional sense. It provides a lot of biographical details on Dirty Dan's life, but it's not a biography. It provides those details in order to put Dirty Dan's role at Gettysburg--both during the battle and also post-war--in their proper historical context.

If you want a true biography, Thomas Kinnealy's American Scoundrel is probably the best. However, Kinnealy is an Aussie and is not a Civil War guy. He gets details wrong, and he is not knowledgeable about the Civil War. But it's a very good study of Dirty Dan's political life and worth reading as such.
Thanks for your response.
My friend- who is more a fan of general American history- will probably appreciate Kinnealy. As I just mentioned, I may have to buy Hessler for myself....
 

Eric Wittenberg

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#7
Thanks for your response.
My friend- who is more a fan of general American history- will probably appreciate Kinnealy. As I just mentioned, I may have to buy Hessler for myself....
Kinneally, by the way is the author of the fantastic Schindler's List. He's the real deal. He just isn't knowledgeable about the Civil War.
 

PeterT

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#8
will probably appreciate Kinnealy
Thomas is an Aussie though!:D Also I have read another of his books and some of his facts were wrong. A pity really because he is/was a good writer. He even has a "Lincoln" beard.

Side note .... when Ken Burn's epic was first shown in Australia, Thomas Kenneally did a one or two minute introduction at the start of each episode, setting the scene. I still have these on tape.
 
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#9
There is so much biographical information in Hessler's book that I actually forgot that it was not written as a biography
True, and as you said, it's a very readable, very enjoyable book! For someone who wants to get an idea how Sickles was ticking, it is just right. So I can recommend it also.
But okay, I'm playing in a different league of course. I'm a total amateur. To me, a certain amount of entertainment is also important in a book and this books provides that joy of reading. :D
 

WJC

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Thomas is an Aussie though!:D Also I have read another of his books and some of his facts were wrong. A pity really because he is/was a good writer. He even has a "Lincoln" beard.

Side note .... when Ken Burn's epic was first shown in Australia, Thomas Kenneally did a one or two minute introduction at the start of each episode, setting the scene. I still have these on tape.
Thanks for your response.
"Aussie" is OK....
 
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#12
Yes: Sickles at Gettysburg By Jim Hessler is hands down enjoyable treatment of "Dirty Dan" Sickles. @War Horse & @Eric Wittenberg have read it too :smile: The book covers Sickles' life from a young man to old age,

EDIT: as Etc mentions below, it is not a biography in the classic sense.

Here is a review of the book (note my comments below)

https://studycivilwar.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/sickles-at-gettysburg/
Bee. A very good recommendation. A very good read. Well written and well researched. David.
 

jackt62

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#13
Thanks for your response.
My friend- who is more a fan of general American history- will probably appreciate Kinnealy. As I just mentioned, I may have to buy Hessler for myself....
I just finished reading the Kinnealy biography about Sickles. Very well written and informative, but I agree that the author's Civil War knowledge is very basic.
 



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