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Extended Audio Sample The March: A Novel, by E. L. Doctorow Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,405 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: E. L. Doctorow Narrator: Joe Morton Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1864, after Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces and lived off the land, pillaging the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops for their own, demolishing cities, and accumulating a borne-along population of freed blacks and white refugees until all that remained was the dangerous transient life of the uprooted, the dispossessed, and the triumphant. Only a master novelist could so powerfully and compassionately render the lives of those who marched.

The author of Ragtime, City of God, and The Book of Daniel has given us a magisterial work with an enormous cast of unforgettable characters—white and black, men, women, and children, unionists and rebels, generals and privates, freed slaves and slave owners. At the center is General Sherman himself; a beautiful freed slave girl named Pearl; a Union regimental surgeon, Colonel Sartorius; Emily Thompson, the dispossessed daughter of a Southern judge; and Arly and Will, two misfit soldiers.

Almost hypnotic in its narrative drive, The March stunningly renders the countless lives swept up in the violence of a country at war with itself. The great march in E. L. Doctorow’s hands becomes something more—a floating world, a nomadic consciousness, and an unforgettable reading experience with awesome relevance to our own times.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “E. L. Doctorow [is] always astonishing…In The March, he dreams himself backward from The Book of Daniel to Ragtime to The Waterworks to the Civil War, into the creation myth of the Republic itself, as if to assume the prophetic role of such nineteenth-century writers as Emerson, Melville, Whitman, and Poe.”


  • “An Iliad-like portrait of war as a primeval human affliction…[welds] the personal and the mythic into a thrilling and poignant story.”

    New York Times

  • The March conjures up the War of Secession—also known as the War Between the States and the War of Northern Aggression—as vividly as any contemporary account I’ve read, and more plausibly than most. Devotees of our nation’s darkest hour, as well as that subset of Confederacy buffs willing to entertain the possibility that all may not have been roses in the antebellum South, will find a great deal to admire in its pages.”

    Washington Post

  • “Spellbinding…A ferocious reimagining of the past that returns it to us as something powerful and strange.”


  • Winner of the 2006 PEN/Faulkner Award
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of a 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2005 Time Magazine Top 10 Book
  • A 2005 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction
  • A 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Fiction
  • A 2006 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Fiction
  • A 2005 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Anne | 2/17/2014

    " This book has no real plot, which is all the rage among literary fiction these days. So in that way, I think Doctorow is probably a genius for finding a topic that is well served by having no plot; the lack of a cohesive narrative is kind of the point he's trying to make about Sherman's march. That said, I couldn't get through it. For the record, he lost me at the decidedly Judy Blume-esque scene where a runaway slave girl gets her period. No, seriously. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Tracey | 2/8/2014

    " Doctorow's writing style frustrated me to no end. For some odd artistic reason, he chooses NOT to use quotation marks!!! This forced me to read and re-read passages. Blah! The entire read felt tedious. It could have been a good read. The March does a great job of giving accurate details of real events and people which I appreciated. I do feel like I got to know William Tecumseh Sherman as well as other significant participants. I did not care for any of the relationships in the book, many of which Doctorow provided no closure. Perhaps I did not find the closure because towards the end I was so tired with the book I started skimming. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Erich Sysak | 2/7/2014

    " Everything is great except the idiotic use of dialect. Shouldn't E.L. Doctorow know better? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Laurie | 2/6/2014

    " Very good. It is a description of General Sherman's march through Georgia and South Carolina from the perspective of a variety of characters. The Civil War was brutal but somehow Doctorow writes in a way that acknowledges the brutality without leaving the reader depressed. "

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