War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta by Russell S. Bonds was the #5 overall favorite pick by editors of Amazon.com in the category of history for 2009. It was the only Civil War title to make the top ten editor’s list.
The lead-reviewer of this book (assigned 5/11/10) is Rea Andrew Redd, Professor, Director of Eberly Library, Waynesburg University.
The panel reviewer(s) include: Kraig McNutt
The publishers web site says:
Called “the greatest event of the Civil War” by New York diarist George Templeton Strong, the epic struggle for the city of Atlanta in the bloody summer of 1864 was a pivotal moment in American history. Union commander William Tecumseh Sherman’s relentless fight for the city secured the reelection of Abraham Lincoln, sealed the fate of the Southern Confederacy, and set a precedent for military campaigns that endures today. Its depiction in the novel and motion picture Gone with the Wind established the fight for Atlanta as an iconic episode in our nation’s most terrible war. In War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta, award-winning author Russell S. Bonds takes the reader behind the lines and across the smoky battlefields of Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Ezra Church, and Jonesboro, and into the lives of fascinating characters, both the famous and the forgotten, including the fiery and brilliant Sherman; General John Bell Hood, the Confederacy’s last hope to defend Atlanta; Benjamin Harrison, the diminutive young Indiana colonel who would rise to become President of the United States; Patrick Cleburne, the Irishmanturned- Southern officer; and ten-year-old diarist Carrie Berry, who bravely withstood and bore witness to the fall of the city. Here also is the dramatic story of the ordeal of Atlanta itself—the five-week artillery bombardment, the expulsion of its civilian population, and the infamous fire that followed. Based on new research in diaries, newspapers, previously unpublished letters, and other archival sources, War Like the Thunderbolt is a combination of captivating narrative and insightful military analysis—a stirring account of the battle and burning of the “Gate City of the South.”
RUSSELL S. BONDS is an attorney in Atlanta and author of the best-selling Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor, now in development as a feature film. He is an honor graduate of Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia School of Law. He lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his family.