Now Available from the ECW Series: Man of Fire: William Tecumseh Sherman in the Civil War

The latest book in the Emerging Civil War Series is hot off the press—hot like fire! Derek Maxfield, a longtime fan of “Uncle Billy” Sherman, has penned a new biography, Man of Fire: William Tecumseh Sherman in the Civil War. The book is available now from Savas Beatie as part of the Emerging Civil War Series (click here to order).

The book tells the story of a man who found himself in war—and that, in turn, secured him a place in history. Condemned for his barbarousness or hailed for his heroics, the life of this peculiar general is nonetheless compelling—and thoroughly American.

According to Maxfield, his second book is special for its collaboration with his colleagues at Genesee Community College. “You know, while I am proud of the biography,” Maxfield said, “I am especially proud of the contributions from my friends at GCC who wrote great essays for the appendix. Their work added to the quality of the book immeasurably.”

Man of Fire features appendices penned by GCC Associate Professor of English Tracy Ford, Associate Professor of English Michael Gosselin and Student Success Coach Jess Maxfield. Books that are part of the Emerging Civil War Series feature appendices following the main text that cover topics from the book in more depth.

Gosselin, Ford, Jess Maxfield, and Derek Maxfield (seated)

“Each of these appendices explores a facet of Sherman’s career that sheds extra light on the main story Derek tells,” said series editor Chris Mackowski. “The books in the series are all story-driven, so there’s a real emphasis on narrative. Rather than disrupt Derek’s narrative flow, we parsed out some of these topics as appendices so we could really explore them. That makes the appendices added value for the reader.”

Mackowski said the appendices are also important as a way for Emerging Civil War to cultivate “emerging voices” in the field. “The appendices give those new writers the chance to earn publication experience,” he explained. “Being coupled with other ‘emerging voices,’ along with the more-established author of the book, allows each writer to benefit from success of the entire group. The rising tide lifts all boats.”

Forging an identity in the fire of war, the unconventional Sherman kindled a friendship with Ulysses S. Grant and proved to everyone at Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Georgia, and in the Carolinas that while he was unorthodox, he was also brilliant and creative. More than that, he was eminently successful and played an important role in the Union’s victory.

Since joining Genesee Community College in 2009, Derek Maxfield has built a reputation as an exceptional storyteller, author, playwright, director, and award-winning teacher. Twice awarded SUNY’s highest system-level honor, Maxfield was recognized in 2013 with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities and in 2019 the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has written, directed and performed in a number of plays which have toured the country – including “Now We Stand by Each Other Always” in which he portrayed Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. More recently, Maxfield was commissioned by the Landmark Society of Genesee County to produce a play highlighting the Brisbane family of Batavia.

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