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Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara
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Gods and Generals

by Jeff Shaara

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1,914243,580 (3.87)56
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    Long Remember by MacKinlay Kantor (DinadansFriend)
    DinadansFriend: Another Civil war novelist whose Gettysburg novel I found good.
  2. 00
    The Last Full Measure by Jeff Shaara (stretch)
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Gods and Generals is a work of historical fiction by Jeff Shaara set in the time shortly before the Civil War and ending just prior to the battle of Gettysburg. It is written as a prequel to a work of the author's father, Killer Angels, which I understand to be focused on the events of Gettysburg.

The central characters of Gods and Generals are Robert E. Lee, Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson, Winfield Scott Hancock, and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. As the story unfolds it shows these men during the time before the war. All except Chamberlain were military men whose careers were essentially languishing and there is little evident about them prior to the war that would suggest what they would be capable of accomplishing when leading men into battle. My understanding is that each of these central characters, Jackson excepted because of his death at the immediately previous battle, looms large over the landscape of Gettysburg.

While a work of fiction I believe that Shaara does a good job at capturing the likely internal thoughts of both his central the many supporting characters during the first half of the Civil War. He shows their strengths and weaknesses, their frustrations in dealing with the politics of the respective governments, as well as the politics within the army that often had a direct consequence on the field of battle. I enjoyed this very readable book. ( )
  BradKautz | Aug 27, 2014 |
Superb book. Tells the story of the Civil War through the battle of Chancellorsville through the eyes of four men: Lee, Jackson, Hancock and Chamberlain. The description of the death of Jackson is especially poignant. ( )
  DeaconBernie | Aug 1, 2014 |
Following in his father's footsteps, Jeff Shaara has written a fantastic book that enables the reader to know these Civil War generals on a personal basis. "God's and Generals" perfectly sets up Michael Shaara's work in "The Killer Angels." ( )
  mgeorge2755 | May 13, 2014 |
A huge disappointment when compared to The Killer Angels. Stiff, formal and uninvolving. ( )
  wolfepack | Jan 31, 2014 |
I believe this was written using research generated by the father, Michael. It's an okay novel, frequently dropping in on the earlier life of Joshua Chamberlain. Not very compelling, but the history seems competent. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 4, 2013 |
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Two extraordinary events occur in the mid-1840s. (Introduction)
The coach rolled through the small iron gates, up the slight rise, toward massive white columns. (Chapter 1 - Lee)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345422473, Mass Market Paperback)

In a prequel of sorts to his father Michael Shaara's 1974 epic novel The Killer Angels, Jeff Shaara explores the lives of Generals Lee, Hancock, Jackson and Chamberlain as the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg approaches. Shaara captures the disillusionment of both Lee and Hancock early in their careers, Lee's conflict with loyalty, 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:52 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The extraordinary lives, passions, and careers of four great military leaders--Stonewall Jackson, Winfield Scott Hancock, Joshua Chamberlain, and Robert E. Lee--come to a climax as Union and Confederate forces clash on the battlefields of the Civil War. A worthy companion to The Killer Angels . . . Shaara brilliantly charts the war, the exploits of the combatants and their motivations. He also concisely shows how the early parts of the campaign unfolded. His accounts of the battles of Williamsburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville are exciting. . . . 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.… (more)

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