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MacKinlay Kantor (1904–1977)

Forfatter af Andersonville

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MacKinlay Kantor is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Andersonville, the novel about the horrifying Confederate prisoner-of-war camp in Georgia. Kantor is also known as a war correspondent and as the author of the novella and eventual screenplay The Best Years of Our Lives, a film that won seven vis mere Academy Awards. Kantor died in 1977 at the age of seventy-three. vis mindre

Værker af MacKinlay Kantor

Andersonville (1955) 1,198 eksemplarer
Gettysburg (1952) 814 eksemplarer
Lee and Grant at Appomattox (1915) 362 eksemplarer
If The South Had Won The Civil War (1961) 220 eksemplarer
Valley Forge (1975) 85 eksemplarer
Long Remember (1934) 76 eksemplarer
Mission with LeMay: My Story (1965) 74 eksemplarer
Spirit Lake (1960) 61 eksemplarer
Gun Crazy [1950 film] (1950) — Screenwriter — 50 eksemplarer
The Voice of Bugle Ann (1935) 47 eksemplarer
Glory For Me (1945) 37 eksemplarer
God and My Country (1954) 36 eksemplarer
The work of Saint Francis (1958) 29 eksemplarer
Signal thirty-two; a novel (1950) 24 eksemplarer
The Daughter of Bugle Ann (1953) 18 eksemplarer
Lobo (1957) 15 eksemplarer
Gentle Annie (1940) 13 eksemplarer
Missouri Bittersweet (1969) 12 eksemplarer
Diversey (2012) 11 eksemplarer
Happy Land [and] Tacey Cromwell (1942) 10 eksemplarer
Story Teller (1967) 10 eksemplarer
Beauty Beast (1968) 10 eksemplarer
Arouse and Beware (1936) 9 eksemplarer
The Noise of Their Wings (1938) 7 eksemplarer
Happy Land (1943) 7 eksemplarer
Hamilton County (1970) 6 eksemplarer
One Wild Oat (1950) 6 eksemplarer
It's about crime (A Signet book) (1960) 5 eksemplarer
Midnight Lace (1950) 5 eksemplarer
The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1935) 4 eksemplarer
Again the Bugle (1958) 4 eksemplarer
Warwhoop (1952) 4 eksemplarer
Valedictory (1939) 4 eksemplarer
Cuba Libre; a story 4 eksemplarer
I Love You, Irene (1972) 3 eksemplarer
The Jaybird (1932) 3 eksemplarer
Don't Touch Me (1958) 3 eksemplarer
Wicked Water (1950) 2 eksemplarer
The Day I Met a Lion (1968) 2 eksemplarer
But Look, The Morn 2 eksemplarer
The Boy in the Dark 2 eksemplarer
The children sing; a novel (1973) 2 eksemplarer
El goes south 2 eksemplarer
Ennemi, mon frère 1 eksemplar
Man Story (1950) 1 eksemplar
Spring Lake 1 eksemplar
The Good Family 1 eksemplar
Angleworms on Toast (1969) 1 eksemplar
Zakon i braća Goss (1958) 1 eksemplar
The Moon-Caller 1 eksemplar
Gentle Annie 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

The Best American Noir of the Century (2010) — Bidragyder — 357 eksemplarer
75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World's Literature (1961) — Bidragyder — 296 eksemplarer
Stories to Remember {complete} (1956) — Bidragyder — 181 eksemplarer
Stories to Remember, Volume I (1956) — Bidragyder — 145 eksemplarer
Read With Me (1965) — Bidragyder — 129 eksemplarer
The Best Years of Our Lives [1946 film] (1946) — Original novel — 126 eksemplarer
The Pulps: Fifty Years of American Pop Culture (1886) — Bidragyder — 100 eksemplarer
More Stories to Remember, Volume II (1958) — Bidragyder — 94 eksemplarer
Follow Me, Boys! [1966 film] (1966) — Original story — 74 eksemplarer
The Fantastic Pulps (1975) — Bidragyder — 70 eksemplarer
20 Stories Pulp Fictions (1996) — Bidragyder — 69 eksemplarer
The Third Omnibus of Crime (1935) — Bidragyder — 44 eksemplarer
The Lucifer Society (1971) — Bidragyder — 41 eksemplarer
100 Best True Stories of World War II (1945) — Bidragyder — 29 eksemplarer
The Night Side: Masterpieces of the Strange and Terrible (1947) — Bidragyder — 27 eksemplarer
The Wonderful World of Horses (1966) — Bidragyder — 22 eksemplarer
Famous Short Short Stories (1966) — Forfatter, nogle udgaver16 eksemplarer
Bodies and Souls (1963) — Bidragyder — 15 eksemplarer
Half-a-Hundred Stories for Men, Great Tales by American Writers (1945) — Bidragyder — 15 eksemplarer
Car Tales: Classic Stories About Dream Machines (1991) — Bidragyder — 14 eksemplarer
New Stories for Men (1941) — Bidragyder — 13 eksemplarer
The night before Chancellorsville, and other Civil War stories (1957) — Bidragyder — 13 eksemplarer
Growing up in the Midwest (1981) — Bidragyder — 11 eksemplarer
A Cavalcade of Collier's (1959) — Bidragyder — 10 eksemplarer
A Treasury of Doctor Stories (1946) — Bidragyder — 9 eksemplarer
Black Magic Omnibus Volume 2 (1976) — Bidragyder — 8 eksemplarer
Time to Be Young: Great Stories of the Growing Years (1945) — Bidragyder — 7 eksemplarer
Life Styles (2001) — Bidragyder — 5 eksemplarer
Modern Detective Stories (1996) — Bidragyder — 5 eksemplarer
The Best American Short Stories 1942 (1942) — Bidragyder — 4 eksemplarer
The Best Short Short Stories from Collier's (1948) — Bidragyder — 3 eksemplarer
Wind Across the Everglades [1958 film] — Actor — 3 eksemplarer
The Bathroom Reader (1946) — Bidragyder — 3 eksemplarer
O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1935 — Bidragyder — 2 eksemplarer
Diners' Delight: the Best of the Diners' Club Magazine (1962) — Bidragyder — 1 eksemplar
Dristige detektiver : et Hitchcock udvalg (1970) — Forfatter, nogle udgaver1 eksemplar

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I read the Reader’s Digest condensed version of this novel before I was in high school, more than fifty years ago. Before I could understand most of the horror I was reading. Before I understood better the larger stage of the Civil War era, and its myriad causes and conditions. In the midst of violent racial unrest in the late 1960s. Since then, I studied American History extensively, both formally (my B.A.) and informally, and re-reading the full novel more than half a century after my first truncated encounter with it was an entirely different experience. I might never have stumbled upon it again had it not been for a reading challenge with the prompt: an award-winning book from the year were born. Andersonville won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the year I was born. In school, we certainly did not learn much about the Civil War prisons and the people in the surrounding areas whose lives were so displaced – you hear about the battles and the glorious victories and defeats, the drama in Washington and Richmond where politicians warred among themselves. We should teach more about Andersonville, which was more than just a prison camp, but really more of a death camp, where the smallest scratch was almost a death sentence because of the filthy conditions, inadequate shelter, scurvy, predation.

The protagonist of this book is essentially Andersonville prison, hastily constructed by the Confederacy during the Civil War on parts of several landowners’ properties in a remote Georgia area not far from the rail line that would transport the Yankee prisoners of war. We first meet the fictional Ira Claffey, whose plantation is near what becomes an open-air house of horrors – the only structure is the walls that surround the acres of a hellish landscape on which an estimated 40,000 prisoners were crammed into a space meant for no more than 10,000, with poor sanitation, inadequate food, with a large percentage dying from exposure, disease, starvation, infected wounds, and about a 25% mortality rate. The conditions, horrible as they were, seemed to be less the result of malice on the part of the Confederate officers charged with the prisoners’ incarceration, but rather incompetence and indifference on the part of the upper echelon.

The closest to a protagonist of a human variety is Ira Claffey and his daughter Lucy – his wife descended into madness after their three sons who reached adulthood died in service to the Confederacy – and how they are affected by the proximity of Andersonville, and the horrors of the miserable, unlivable conditions the prisoners are subjected to. Throughout the book, we meet some of the (fictional) inhabitants of the area, learn a little about them. And we meet some of the fictional Yankee prisoners, learn a little of their lives before their time in Andersonville, often glimpses of their childhood, during their incarceration, and if they are lucky, which is rare, after. Certain Confederate officers and doctors tried to improve conditions but were then branded as traitors by Generals who were hell-bent on keeping the conditions the most miserable possible and expending the least amount of money, particularly as the tide of war turns away; yet despite their efforts, after the war they took the fall and were convicted of crimes against humanity. I understand the Confederate military figures in the book are real people. Also, some of the POWs mentioned – Boston Corbett, Chickamauga, John Ransom, John McElroy – also existed in real life. Ira Claffey and some of the other civilian agrarian neighbors around the prison showed compassion toward the prisoners and were also accused of treasonous behavior. Kantor certainly uses the conditions at Andersonville to raise philosophical and moral questions with which various characters grapple, but never explicitly answer.

While most of the male characters are richly drawn, the female characters are largely one-dimensional and almost always object rather than subject. I ascribe that deficiency more to prevailing attitudes about women’s place during the time period during which Kantor researched and wrote this novel (from the 1930s to the 1950s) than to any actual representation of women during the Civil War era. He probably had very little in the way of research materials for women’s accounts of their experiences during the war that might have helped flesh them out. In addition, I cringed near the end where Kantor perpetuates the happy slave myth when the war ends and Ira Claffey tells his enslaved human workers that they are free, and they are so grateful and will stay loyal, etc. It seemed almost a cartoonish or Hollywood ending.

But again, Kantor wrote during a different time, and in the interim more published journals or letters or oral histories of women and enslaved people have emerged. Accordingly, subtracting from the overall five-star rating of a mid-20th century book based on 21st century sensibilities is unwarranted. Some people have complained about the length of this book – my 60th anniversary edition is 754 pages – and have said the story could have been told in fewer pages, but I disagree. The pictures he painted and the little stories he told were so vivid that I feel I visited with this place for as long as the prison stood, and that is both disconcerting and remarkable, particularly since the focus of these stories is not the pompous politicians and generals, but on how this horrendous place affected the lives of those whose lives it touched inside and outside its walls. This book will stay with me for a long time.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
bschweiger | 18 andre anmeldelser | Feb 4, 2024 |
Excellent account of the Battle of Gettysburg for ages 8-12, also great reading for all ages. Covers the days of June 1863 through the July battle, the aftermath and President Lincoln's November address.
 
Markeret
BookScout83 | 3 andre anmeldelser | Jan 31, 2024 |
A sprawling novel, with many characters decribing the events leading up to the attacks on white settlers neat Spirit Lake Iowa in 1857. this fight is not to be linked to the 1862 Sioux uprising in Minnesota. Kantor is a good writer shining in his gift of creating strong characters, and the book is heart-breaking in its demonstration of the vile treatment of the indians by the whites in that area.
 
Markeret
DinadansFriend | 2 andre anmeldelser | Jan 4, 2024 |
I prophesy with all the terrible ardor I can muster: this will be a stench in the nostrils of history.

Perhaps the biggest disgrace in the entire history of the Civil War is the story of Andersonville. I wonder how MacKinlay Kantor bore to do the research and spend the time required with this material in order to tell this story. It is 766 pages of misery, sorrow, and shame.

What is somewhat amazing to me is that he was able to deal even-handedly with the civilian Southerners, who were also caught in this tragedy. There could have been an overwhelming temptation to paint everyone with the same brush, which, of course, would have been unfair but understandable in light of the egregiousness of this trespass against humanity.

Kantor said he began this project with his own experience in World War II in mind. He was among those who freed the camp at Buchenwald, and struggled with what to think of the German citizens who surrounded the camp and its horrors. He certainly did a marvelous job of separating the citizens, flawed though they certainly were, from the officers and guards at Andersonville. I felt it was clear that he believed the atrocities of Andersonville overshadowed any other aspect of leadership in the Southern ranks.

What matters a chivalrous Lee if we have a Winder? What matters the sacrifice of a Hood, if we have a Captain Wirz? What matters the competence of a Johnston or the spiritual strength of a sickly Stephens, if we have at home only the incompetence of venal surgeons, incompetence of a Seddon, frailty and futility of a sickly Seddon.

He has presented us with some very memorable and complex characters in Ira Claffey, Lucy Claffey and Harry Elkins. There is a growth of understanding in these people that one would surely hope to see in any human being bearing even the remotest witness to such a place. Ira, who has lost his three sons to the war and has sufficient reason to hate Northerners, comes full circle and performs several acts of kindness and bravery as he embraces again the idea that we are all humanity, regardless of our origins. And, he finds somewhere in the midst of all this loss and carnage a kind of hope.

But if he put mind and heart into the soil where his sons had gone, and where the human wastage of Andersonville had gone, and where that enormous blood-curdling fraction of America’s young males had gone, North and South--eventually the stalks might rise, toughen; beards would dry out, husks turn to parchment; and those hands who’d made his crop might reach in memory to carry him in salute to the crop, the fields, the earth itself.


Lucy, his daughter, and Harry Elkins, a young surgeon, who struggles with the conditions of the camp and the total lack of concern or decency from the officers, also struggle with how to keep a spark of love alive in the face of so much sorrow and hatred.

“I don’t believe he’s right. Do you? Shouldn’t love be bigger than--? And embrace more than just--? I mean, whether there were a stockade and a hospital or not? Or even a war. Seems like there’ve always been wars going on, one place or another. And boys dying in them. But people still managed to love one another.”

But, this is not primarily a Southern tale, this is to a greater extent a Northern one. Interspersed with the events that are the lives of the families Claffey and Tebbs, Kantor tells us, in detail, the lives of the true victims of this sinkhole, and he paints for us no happy endings, because those were almost unknown in Andersonville. The lives of Eben Dolliver, Edward Blamey, Nathan Dreyfoos, Eric Torrioson are imprinted on me forever, along with the disgusting likes of Willie Collins, who is among those who are hanged by the prisoners themselves for the crimes they commit against their fellows.

The carnage, the suffering, was so extreme, I had to stop often and just take refuge from the camp myself. I kept hoping for someone to escape, someone to prevail, then for someone to just survive, but over and over again, Kantor told me this is fiction that is history and I will not change the outcome for any of these men. I wept when Eric, who tried to escape by pretending to be dead and lying among the rotted bodies in the death house, a feat that was only possible because the living and the dead were almost indistinguishable, became one of their number.

I was elated to read the story of Nazareth Stricker, who is saved by a rebel soldier, Coral Tebbs, in the most unlikely but believable turn of events in the book. But, this elation was tempered by the knowledge of how many, some 14,000 men, had not been so lucky.

The cruelty of General John Winder and Captain Henry Wirz, if even remotely as chronicled, merits them a special place in hell. I feel sure Dante would place them in the seventh circle of hell and we would find them submerged in the boiling blood of human beings, right up to their eyebrows, for all eternity.

I have tried to review this book on its own merits. It is a work of fiction, but based on history. I am not sure anyone actually knows the entire truth of Andersonville. The victors write the history, and there are certainly alternative views of this one, as there are of anything part of a distant war. Noted historian Shelby Foote has said when asked about Andersonville:

“there’s no attention to Camp Chase or any of the northern camps. And that’s wrong. They were almost as bad. And less forgivable, because those prisoners in Andersonville got the rations the Confederate soldier was getting. The southern prisoners in northern camps did not get the rations northern soldiers were getting. Many of the deaths in northern camps were due to cold weather at Lake Michigan and other places where they didn’t have blankets to cover themselves with and so forth.”

Kantor clearly says that the prisoners at Andersonville did not get the same rations as Confederate soldiers, so one or the other of these men is wrong. Kantor is writing fiction, so perhaps this is a license he has taken. No such license is needed--this tragedy is sufficient without embellishment. It is also, however, immaterial whether atrocities were committed elsewhere, nothing erases what happened here. Perhaps it is the sheer numbers that overwhelm; 14,000 men died at Andersonville, 2000 men died at Camp Chase.

Nothing mitigates the horror of war. When will we ever learn?


A note beyond the scope of the book, which ends with the liberation of Andersonville: Henry Wirz was the only officer executed for war crimes in the Civil War.



… (mere)
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Markeret
mattorsara | 18 andre anmeldelser | Aug 11, 2022 |

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Medlemmer
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