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The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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The Killer Angels (1974)

by Michael Shaara

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Remarkable stories. One of my favorites. ( )
  ibkennedy | Mar 3, 2014 |
Jane's recommendation. Good, but a bit slow getting into it. I'm not a huge fan of war fiction, but this is very well done. It has been on my list for many years. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
I dork out on history as it is, but Killer Angels is on it's own level. This is by far the best historical novel I've ever read. You feel the weight of what was happening on a grand scale and on a personal scale soldier to soldier. I loved it and I couldn't recommend it higher. ( )
  crossovers | Jan 4, 2014 |
Read this in high school and completed a Civil War project using it as source material per teacher's instructions. I remember thinking it wasn't horrible, just not my preferred genre. ( )
  StefanieGeeks | Jan 3, 2014 |
The heavy smoke rises from the smoldering field where the heaps of dead look like small mountains in the blood soaked wheat. The riderless horse stumbles across the field along with the humiliated soldiers. The men’s faces are like screens showing the brave men with swords pointed north towards their enemies and the flags rising up the hill. The only sign of life on the glorious field where the dead have shown their medals to the very end, is the horse. The soldiers weep for lost comrades and because of the defeat. One man sits tall and proud on the top of his horse, his gray felt cap brushing his eyebrows, and his white beard is like a magnet drawing the soldiers to their only hope. He claims that it is all his fault, but the men take the blame. His name is Lee.
During the book, The Killer Angels, Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia( Confederates) make an attempt to invade Washington D.C., but they are headed off by the Union army at a small town called Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. The two armies collide on July 1st, 1863 in the fields around Gettysburg. The Union army is pushed back, but they make a wise decision to retreat to the hills around Gettysburg. They dig in all through the night and in the morning the Confederates make their assault on the heights looking over Gettysburg. The second day ends with a brutal loss and almost 20,000 are lost on the assault on the hills. Through the night the commanders on both sides of the field draw up their plans and the next morning they execute. The confederates beat them to the line and attack right up the center. The Confederates charge valiantly up the hill in a line almost a mile long and the victory is almost in sight.
This book has a very interesting chapter sequence where each chapter is from the view of a different commander at the battle of Gettysburg. This book is about the thoughts, actions, and bravery of the men at Gettysburg, which was a revolution to books about the Civil War. This is the aspect that made me have a true interaction with this book and a deep feeling for the people who were involved. This also is my favorite aspect of the book, because it allows you to make a connection between the past and the present which is rare in todays books. This historical fiction novel is great for anyone who likes historical fiction or any history, especially the Civil War. This book was overall great, a little dull at times, but is really able to capture the true American spirit. ( )
  br14gape | Nov 21, 2013 |
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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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Epigraph
"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 . . .
Dedication
To Lila (old George)
. . . in whom I am well pleased
First words
1. THE SPY

He rode into the dark of the woods and dismounted.
Quotations
...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."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

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

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:20 -0400)

(see all 7 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.

» see all 12 descriptions

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