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None Shall Look Back (Southern Classics Series) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Southern Classics Series
  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: J.S. Sanders Books (September 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879941112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879941113
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,097,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Her story is a legend of heroes, of those who fought well and lost their battle, and their lives. . . Miss Gordon's heart is fixed on the memory of those men who died in a single, superbly fought lost cause, in nothing diminished for being lost, and this devotion has focused her feelings and imagination to a point of fire."--Katherine Anne Porter (New Republic)

"Miss Gordon has done in this book what every novelist would do if he could, and what perhaps one in a hundred does. She has been real."--Mark Van Doren (Southern Review)

About the Author

Caroline Gordon (1895-1981), a native of Kentucky, began her literary career in the 1920’s after her marriage to poet Allen Tate. In 1929 her first story appeared. In 1931 her first novel, Penhally, was published. This was followed by three volumes of short fiction and eight more novels.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Simon Jackson on July 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
First published in 1937 "None Shall Look Back" represents an attempt by author Caroline Gordon to follow the fortunes of one family throughout the Civil War years. In this she has achieved her goal admirably. The story focuses on the Allard family of Kentucky and Georgia as they struggle with the consequences of war both for those who take up arms and for those left behind.
The central character of the novel is Rives Allard, a scout under General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Gordon follows Rives with skill and eloquence, she writes well of both the physical battles and the internal conflicts that Rives experiences.
Gordon writes with a passion regarding her subject matter, at times however I felt that she has the tendency to over romanticise the idyllic nature of the pre-war south. However this is a small quibble and one that does not detract from the overall power of the book. General Forrest appears throughout None Shall Look Back and as a personal preference I would have liked him to play a larger part the novels structure but again this is not a criticism of the book just a personal observation.
Ultimately None Shall Look Back is an account of what the author saw as the stand of the heroic south, both Rives and Forrest are presented as heroes of the Southern cause and the struggles against deprivation and poverty are presented in an heroic yet believable manner.
Before reading the novel I had some reservations regarding both its age and subject matter. Other accounts of Civil War written during the same period as None Shall Look back have at times been cliched and repetitive. Gordon relies on neither of those qualities with the end result being a well-written, engaging and thoughtful novel.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By paintcan on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Margaret Mitchell was very lucky Gone With The Wind beat this great work by Caroline Gordon into print.None Shall Look Back was a better, richer story in all respects and, in my opinion, would have made a much better movie and still would. BTW - I'm a big Gone With The Wind fan. MWY
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By Paul H. Yarbrough on December 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
None Shall Look back was published about a year or two after Gone With the Wind. Had it been published earlier it may have been THE Southern novel of the period. I loved GWTW but almost as much I loved NSLB. Caroline Gordon knew the South. Knew that world.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
None Shall Look Back is the type of book which has "sticking power". This power will remain as a companion long after the volume has been finished. The path of the hero, so carefully and unpretentiously illuminated here, is always that of self denial, of an abandonment toward a worthy principle or cause. Sometimes it is also a path of suffering and sorrow. Body and Soul. The heroes of this book are human. That is to say they have limitations of flesh and blood, of body and soul, of time and place. And yet for all that, passion placed at the service of honor and forged in unselfishness rises transcendent, and lasting, a truly heroic and enduring fragrance which remains after all lesser things have passed away. Is this a scent your senses respond to? If so, you will be proud to have known the humans, the heroes, of None Shall Look Back.
As a postscript I would suggest saving the Preface and reading it as an Afterword. It is a very fine contemplative piece which serves far better as an after dinner enzyme than a pre-meal appetizer.
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