The "march" alluded to in the title is the infamous trek made by Union General William T. Sherman’s army as they drove east across Georgia and north up through the Carolinas during the latter stages of the Civil War. Sherman serves as one of many prominent historical figures explored throughout this sweeping novel. Doctorow’s chronicling of the ravishment of war shows Sherman’s military campaign growing into a kind of massive organism of incalculable human suffering as free slaves, wandering vagabonds, and displaced Southerners join the march. The narrative interweaves several strands of stories that gain momentum as a driving confluence that encapsulate the momentous impact of war on individual lives. Although The March lacks the emotional power of his early works, E.L. Doctorow still proves with this book that he is one of America’s most distinguished writers.