Length: 727 pages
About: American Civil War POW Horror
Style: 3rd person
Where: US (Georgia)
This book captures all the glory and shame of America’s most tragic conflict in the vivid, crowded world of an infamous prison, Andersonville, and the people who lived outside its barricades. Here
50,000 Northern soldiers suffered here with over 14,000 dying. The guilt and greatness of both the Union and the Confederacy are in these pages, in the savagery of the camp commandant, the deep
compassion of a nearby planter and his gentle daughter, in the merging of valour and vicisousness within the stockade itself.
The Yankees got Moses and Suthy. Yankees now destroy Badge. They got him, with their many cannon and many men and their quick-shooting breech-loading rifles. Damn the Yankees. Damn them forever,
damn them to a hundred hells with their cannon and their money and their blankets and their medicines. God--damn--the Yankees. God damn the Yankees. Gad damn the Yankees. Amen.
MacKinlay Kantor's "Andersonville" was described in a New York Times review as a "tremendous novel on a tremendous theme." Its locale was the Confederate stockade in southwest central Georgia
where 50,000 Union men were imprisoned in the Civil War. One-third of them died there.
New York Times, 8th May 1956
Not so good:
The cumulative effect of Mr Kantor’s writing is considerable. His immense accumulation of detail does in the end have some effect in conveying the awful reality of Andersonville. Yet this might
have been a better book had it been, say, half as long and informed by some sense of artistic direction.
Times Literary Supplement 12th October 1956
About the author
Born February 4, 1904, Died October 11, 1977. Kantor was born in Webster City, Iowa. He published his first poem at the age of 17, and at 18 he won a state story writing contest. He had
aspirations as an author and at age 24 finished his first novel, Diversey, which was not a success. Kantor spent the next six years making a living writing for newspapers. Then, in 1934, he published
Long Remember, a novel that became a best-seller and was so successful that the film rights were purchased; Kantor followed the lead and headed to Hollywood, where three of his books were turned into
movies over the next few years.