Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 8, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
2 Reviews
Amid the aristocratic ranks of the Confederate cavalry, Nathan Bedford Forrest was untutored, all but unlettered, and regarded as no more than a guerrilla. His tactic was the headlong charge, mounted with such swiftness and ferocity that General Sherman called him a "devil" who should "be hunted down and killed if it costs 10,000 lives and bankrupts the treasury." And in a war in which officers prided themselves on their decorum, Forrest habitually issued surrender-or-die ultimatums to the enemy and often intimidated his own superiors. After being in command at the notorious Fort Pillow Massacre, he went on to haunt the South as the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Now this epic figure is restored to human dimensions in an exemplary biography that puts both Forrest's genius and his savagery into the context of his time, chronicling his rise from frontiersman to slave trader, private to lieutenant general, Klansman to -- eventually -- New South businessman and racial moderate. Unflinching in its analysis and with extensive new research, Nathan Bedford Forrest is an invaluable and immensely readable addition to the literature of the Civil War.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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User Review  - Eagleduck86 - LibraryThing

This detailed, nuanced biography includes what Paul Harvey would call . . . THE REST OF THE STORY: Three years before his death, Nathan Bedford Forrest experienced a religious conversion, after which he became an advocate of racial reconciliation. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dswaddell - LibraryThing

A very insightful book that gives a thourough review of Nathan Bedford Forrest emphasizing neither the good or the bad but reporting on both. Gives an understanding of the mans life both before and after the war years. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Jack Hurst is a former journalist who has written for newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Nashville Tennessean. He is the author of Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography. A descendant of both Union and Confederate military officers, he currently lives with his wife outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

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