HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Loading...

The Killer Angels (original 1974; edition 1987)

by Michael Shaara

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,070142683 (4.31)306
Member:wildbill
Title:The Killer Angels
Authors:Michael Shaara
Info:Ballantine Books (1987), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:historical fiction, American Civil War

Work details

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (1974)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 306 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
Though I have previously read some accounts of the battle of Gettysburg, I never understood it so well until reading The Killer Angels. It provides an inspired approach to tell the story: through the eyes of key officers on both sides. By doing so, not only are the tactics employed better explained, but it is in the context of such immediacy that the reader feels he is in the midst of the incident.

It also helps explain how the revered Robert E Lee could have engaged in such an epic blunder, exemplified by the catastrophe of "Picket's Charge."

The Killer Angels won the Pulitzer Prize, and though I don't know what its competition was in the year it won, it certainly can be counted worthy. ( )
  kvrfan | Aug 19, 2016 |
What a phenomenal book. It is part of history that, growing up in the South, was shoved down my throat to the point of nausea. But as an adult trying to understand the complexities of war this book is a must-read. Michael Shaara does a wonderful job explaining the troop movements and the landscape of these three days in July and how they were a turning point in the War. His attempts at fleshing out historical individuals, such as General Lee and James Longstreet, kind of fall flat, but that is so often the case with historical writers who write for a popular audience that I do not fault him for it. Shaara excels when he describes the landscape, the decisions made, and the reasons for there to have been a Pickett's Charge. I think the movie gave more air time to this one battle than the book, but it is such a part of war's mythology that seeing this desperate battle is really more moving. ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
This is the story of the battle of Gettysburg as seen through the eyes of officers on both sides of the battlefield.

For the South - General Robert E. Lee, Lt. General James Longstreet,Major General George Pickett, Brigadier General Lewis Armistead and many more.

For the North - Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, Major General John Buford, Major General John Reynolds, Major General George Meade, Major General Winfred Hancock and others

I knew very little about the American Civil War prior to reading this novel. It seems to be quite historically accurate, being structured based on diaries of the time. Several things struck me as I read the book, first of all was the utter loyalty of most of the soldiers on each side to their leaders and how they willingly marched into certain death (most of them anyway as there was mention of shootings of those who might change their mind). Secondly, many of the officers on either side knew each other, might even wave to each other across the battlefield before a fight. Thirdly, though the war started because of a fight to free slaves, on the battlefield the issue of negro slaves seemed to be VERY secondary... I don't know how true that was in reality but that is what was portrayed here.

The novel shows the battle through the leaders eyes. You see the good decisions and the bad. I was surprised at how bad General Lee was shown by ignoring good advice from junior officers, yet he is still beloved by his men. There is a true fog of war. Unless you had good spies and cavalry, the officers were blind... thousands of men can be maneuvered invisible in a forest or behind a hill. Some of the battle scenes were intense, some gore but not gratuitous, but you see the agony of the leaders in the front lines having to make decisions that most certainly send their men to certain death.

It was not as depressing as another war novel I had read. It was very well written with a nice balance between the battles and recovery between them. The author, Michael Shaara, received a Pulitzer for this effort and very deserved in my opinion.

He has another book titled "The Broken Place"... I will be looking for this book as I like his writing style very much. ( )
2 vote Lynxear | Jun 7, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (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)
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

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
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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
129 avail.
66 wanted
5 pay10 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.31)
0.5 1
1 12
1.5 2
2 25
2.5 5
3 152
3.5 43
4 508
4.5 101
5 701

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 109,178,828 books! | Top bar: Always visible