Magazine August 24, 2020, Issue

William Tecumseh Sherman: A Warrior in Full

William Tecumseh Sherman ( Photos.com/Getty Images)
The Scourge of War: The Life of William Tecumseh Sherman, by Brian Holden Reid (Oxford University Press, 640 pp., $34.95)

Statues of William Tecumseh Sherman stand throughout the country, including a striking gilded-bronze one by Augustus Saint-Gaudens outside Central Park in New York City.

Reading a biography of Sherman in the context of the current spate of iconoclasm brings home how anyone looks immaculate on a pedestal, or to borrow and flip around the famous line about valets — everyone is a hero to his sculptor. Marble and bronze smooth away the inevitable human flaws of even truly great men.

If the mob wanted to take sledgehammers and grappling hooks to statues of Sherman, it would have grounds to do so —

This article appears as “A Warrior in Full” in the August 24, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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