Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma
A biography that will make you give up reading fiction
This is the biography of one of the leading fighters of the South during the American Civil War. Almost 500 pages long (perhaps 200 too many). Plenty of detail about Forrest's life. There are 3 main parts -in my view- in this book: The first part is his early life until the war starts; second is the war itself, which must make up 80% of the whole book, and lastly is Forrest's relationship with the original KKK, his obscure role in it and exit from it, along with some mentions of his business project (the railroads) and his apparent reconciliation with the colored race.
In my opinion the authors waste too much paper trying to figure out the moral or psychological man Forrest, which is an absurd thing to do to a historical figure (it's hardly possible to do so to a contemporary one for that matter) and thus bring into discussion too much that is theoretical. If the authors had just dealt with what we do know, which already is a lot -and absolutely amazing, that would have been more than satisfactory to the reader. Forrest was a man of action, of true American (today only Southern or middle-American) values, not a better or a worse man than any of us can be. But his historical stature stands on the basis of his war feats, his charisma, his genius on the saddle, his leadership.
All in all, you can find here everything you want to know about Nathan Bedford Forrest, the great Southern warrior. The enigma is not for us to judge but God. Besides, who isn't an enigma?