THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL MILES by Newton F. Tolman

THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL MILES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The sophisticated crackerbarrel twang that marked Tolman's account of his family life in New England (North of Monadock, 1961) unfortunately mars his biography of General Nelson A. Miles (1839-1925). But this book is a disaster in several ways. The arduous search for Miles identity was not necessary. As even the Columbia Desk Encyclopedia notes, the general was illustrious: Union Civil War hero, star Indian fighter, troop commander in the Pullman Strike, squabbler With Presidents, and before and during the Spanish-American War commander-in-chief of the army. Eventually. Tolman found the general's three volumes of memoirs and set out on his running account. Midway through he seems--finally--to have discovered the military histories, V. W. Johnson's full-length biography The Unregimented General (1962), General Miles' heir, and the newspaper accounts, not that Tolman puts any of these sources to adequate historical use. The general, it seems, had a bad press, and the author takes time out from his story to make several swipes at yellow journalism. But on this point too, the book is hit and miss.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1968
Publisher: Putnam