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11-04-2009, 02:12 PM #1
Madison Smartt Bell - Devil's Dream
A novel by
Madison Smartt Bell
From the author of All Souls' Rising ('A serious historical novel that reads like a dream.' -The Washington Post Book World )-a powerful new novel about Nathan Bedford Forrest, the most reviled and celebrated, loathed and legendary, of Civil War generals.
With the same eloquence, dramatic energy, and grasp of history that marked his acclaimed trilogy of novels about Toussaint Louverture, Madison Smartt Bell gives us a wholly new vantage point from which to view a complicated American icon.
We see Forrest off the battlefield, in the more hidden but no less telling moments of his life: wooing the woman who would become his wife; battling an addiction to gambling; overcoming his abhorrence of the bureaucracy of the army to rise to its highest ranks. We see him taking part in the business of slave trading, but treating his own slaves humanely. We see him with his slave mistress, with whom he fathered several children, and we see him reveal his gift for inspiring courage but not change.
As the novel unfolds, a vivid portrait comes into focus: a man whose fierceness was marked by fairness, a life filled with contradiction and integrity. In Bell's telling, it is also an evocation of genius and reticence.
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