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Gods and Generals
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About the Author

Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of A Chain of Thunder, A Blaze of Glory, The Final Storm, No Less Than Victory, The Steel Wave, The Rising Tide, To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure--two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his father's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, The Killer Angels. Shaara was born into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. He lives in Gettysburg.

Reviews

In his 1974 epic novel, The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara focused on the Battle of Gettysburg and the four men‘two Union, two Confederate‘who led their men in bloody battle. Twenty-two years later, Shaara's son follows the same four men‘Lee, Jackson, Hancock, and Chamberlain‘through the years leading up to that pivotal battle. Shaara captures Lee's and Hancock's disillusionment over their early careers, Lee's conflict in loyalties, Jackson's overwhelming Christian ethic, and Chamberlain's total lack of experience while illustrating how each compensated for shortcomings and failures when put to the test. The perspectives of the four men, particularly concerning the battles at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, make vivid the realities of war. Considered together, the two novels by father and son present a powerful portrait of the generals who won and lost the Civil War. Recommended for most libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/96.]‘Thomas L. Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale

Shaara, whose father, Michael Shaara, won the Pulitzer in 1975 for his Civil War saga The Killer Angels, penned this prequel, which spent 14 weeks on PW's bestseller list. (May)

YA‘Shaara has chosen four major figures of the Civil War‘Generals Lee, Jackson, Hancock, and Chamberlain‘and woven an excellent novel told from their individual viewpoints. The author excels at showing the personalities and lives of these key men. The central person in each alternating chapter moves the story toward the bloody battles of the Wilderness and Chancellorsville, and finally to the eve of the Gettysburg campaign. The compassion and religious convictions of Lee and Jackson are contrasted with the equally strong beliefs of Hancock and Chamberlain against secession and the destruction of the Union. All are frustrated by the political and administrative blunders that affect both armies. The author skillfully involves readers with each of the participants. Those unfamiliar with the period will appreciate the introduction and afterword that place the events within the context of the men's lives. Factual detail and deft character development create fascinating historical fiction.‘Barry Williams, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

"Powerful . . . Though the story of the Civil War has been told many times, this is the rare version that conveys what it must have felt like."--Chicago Sun-Times

"Compelling . . . a work of vivid drama and skill."--The Dallas Morning News "[Jeff] Shaara's beautifully sensitive novel delves deeply in the empathetic realm of psycho-history, where enemies do not exist--just mortal men forced to make crucial decisions and survive on the same battlefield."--San Francisco Chronicle "Historical detail and depth of character carry the book, which examines the viewpoints and vulnerabilities of one of the most fascinating collections of military minds ever assembled on a single battlefront."--Minneapolis Star Tribune "Shaara has created human beings of the myths and cold facts."--St. Petersburg Times

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