Andersonville (novel)

Andersonville (novel)

infobox Book |
name = Andersonville
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption = 1st edition cover
author = MacKinlay Kantor
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Historical novel
publisher = Penguin Books
release_date = 1955
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages =
isbn = NA
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"Andersonville" is a novel by MacKinlay Kantor concerning the Confederate prisoner of war camp during the American Civil War (1861–1865). The novel was originally published in 1955 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the following year.

Plot summary

The novel interweaves the stories of real and fictional characters. It is told from many points of view, including that of Henry Wirz, the camp commandant. It also features William Collins, a Union soldier and one of the leaders of the "Raiders". The "Raiders" are a gang of thugs, mainly bounty jumpers who steal from their fellow prisoners and lead comfortable lives while other prisoners die of starvation and disease. Other characters include numerous ordinary prisoners of war, the camp physician|doctor, a nearby plantation owner, guards and Confederate civilians in the area near the prison.

While clearly based on prisoner memoirs, most notably "Andersonville: A Story of Rebel Military Prisons" by John McElroy, it is less nakedly biased against the Confederates than its sources. For instance, Henry Wirz, who received an injury earlier in the war and never recovered properly, is portrayed not as an inhuman fiend but as a sick man struggling with a job beyond his capacities.

It is often erroneously assumed that Kantor's novel formed the basis for the 1996 television mini-series which is also entitled "Andersonville". Although Kantor did sell the motion picture rights of his novel to one of the major Hollywood studios in the 1950s, it was never produced. Kantor's novel and the television movie of the same name are two separate properties.

Characters in "Andersonville"

Real people who are mentioned include:

* Henry Wirz (Confederate, camp commandant)

* John McElroy (Union prisoner, future memoir writer)

* William Collins (Union prisoner, "Raider" leader executed by fellow prisoners)

* Boston Corbett (Union prisoner, future killer of John Wilkes Booth)

* John Winder (Confederate general in charge of prisoners-of-war)

* John L. Ransom (1843-1919) (Union prisoner), a printer from Jackson, Michigan, who kept a detailed diary of his capture, imprisonment, and escape. This was published as "Andersonville Diary".

External links

* [http://www.pprize.com/BookDetail.php?bk=38 Photos of the first edition of Andersonville]


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