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The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

The Killer Angels (1974)

by Michael Shaara

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Well-executed, as an embellished recounting of what happened at Gettysburg...it seems well-researched, and gives insight into the minds of men at war. but it doesn't really have everything I look for in a novel.
I can definitely see that it would be LOVED by players of strategy
games, tacticians, and military buffs.
I doubt that there is a better book out there that gives a blow-by-blow recounting of the Battle of Gettysburg, so, four stars.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Excellent! Worth reading just to get to know Longstreet and Chamberlain. ( )
  chasing | Jan 18, 2016 |
4th reread .2016
  scarycreek | Jan 17, 2016 |
This book was absolutley GREAT!!! I Recommend this book for anyone who loves History, The American Civil War, and historical novels in General. ( )
  JoeKingman | Dec 26, 2015 |
The historical novel, The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara is about a nation’s division through war and reveals that a nation going against each other, results in a lot of pain, sadness and death. The book is about the the day before the Battle of Gettysburg and the battle itself, where more than 51,000 soldiers die. Throughout the book, the main characters, Lee, Longstreet, and Chamberlain encounter many decisions that determine the fate of the whole country. When Lee figures out that his army is outnumbered by many men, he surrenders, which puts an end to the Battle of Gettysburg. Although the book is based on true events and characters, Shaara still includes the thoughts and feelings of generals and colonels throughout the battle by dedicating each chapter to a certain person. The narrator remains unknown and tells the story in mostly third person omniscient point of view, with a small portion of first person. I have to admit that I didn’t like not knowing who was telling the story, but it was nice being told the emotions of most of the characters. The main aspect of the book that I liked was Shaara’s ability to turn a battle description into a story with multidimensional and realistic characters. He incorporated the facts of the battle, while including the feelings of the soldiers/generals. I also liked that even though the book only covered four days, I was still able to understand why the soldiers were fighting and the true tragedy of it all. This book is informative and accurately reflects the emotions and complexities of one of the major turning points in American history. ( )
1 vote LindseyLP3 | Dec 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
This is an account of how the book came to be written...
added by danielx | editNew York times, Paul Leigh (Jun 29, 2013)
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"When men take up arms to set other men free, there is something sacred and holy in the warfare."

- Woodrow Wilson
"I hate the idea of causes, and if I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."

- E. M. Forster
"With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army. . . ."

- from a letter of Robert E. Lee
Mr. Mason: How do you justify your acts?
John Brown: I think, my friend, you are guilty of a great wrong against God and humanity---I say it without wishing to be offensive---and it would be perfectly right for anyone to interfere with you so far as to free those you willfully and wickedly hold in bondage. I do not say this insultingly.
Mr. Mason: I understand that.

- from an interview with John Brown after his capture
Mine eyes have seen the glory . . .
To Lila (old George)
. . . in whom I am well pleased
First words

He rode into the dark of the woods and dismounted.
...Chamberlain remembered it still: "What a piece of work is man...in action how like an angel!" And the old man, grinning, had scratched his head an then said stiffly, "Well, boy, if he's an angel, he's sure a murderin' angel."
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Book description
The book tells the story of four days of the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War: June 30, 1863, as the troops of both the Union and the Confederacy move into battle around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and July 1, July 2, and July 3, when the battle was fought. The story is character driven and told from the perspective of various protagonists.

AR 4.7, 15 Pts
Haiku summary
In the Civil War
the battle of Gettysburg
is where many die. (marcusbrutus)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345348109, Mass Market Paperback)

This novel reveals more about the Battle of Gettysburg than any piece of learned nonfiction on the same subject. Michael Shaara's account of the three most important days of the Civil War features deft characterizations of all of the main actors, including Lee, Longstreet, Pickett, Buford, and Hancock. The most inspiring figure in the book, however, is Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose 20th Maine regiment of volunteers held the Union's left flank on the second day of the battle. This unit's bravery at Little Round Top helped turned the tide of the war against the rebels. There are also plenty of maps, which convey a complete sense of what happened July 1-3, 1863. Reading about the past is rarely so much fun as on these pages.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:24 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought for two dreams-- freedom, and a way of life. Memories, promises, and love were carried into the battle but what fell was shattered futures, forgotten innocence, and crippled beauty.

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