I am a big fan of military histories – fact and fiction. For years my biggest gap was the American Civil War (War Between the States). I cannot tell you why this so because I do not know why. A friend, who is a big Civil war buff, finally shamed me into reading about it. My first venture was Jeff Shaara’s bestselling Gods and Generals.
In 1974 Jeff’s father, Michael Shaara had his bestselling, Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Killer Angels, published. It was made into the movie “Gettysburg” a few years later. Michael died in 1988. His son Jeff was pressured into writing the prequel, Gods and Generals, that was published in 1996. The third installment is The Last Full Measure. There is also a second Jeff Shaara Civil War series that has three additional titles, A Blaze of Glory, A Chain of Thunder, and The Smoke at Dawn. He also has a WWII series, Revolutionary War books, a book about the Mexican War, and another about WWI.
I knew the names of the battlefields of Bull Run (1 and 2), Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. I did not know what happened there. I knew the names of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, and Winfield Scott Hancock but not what they did. Jeff Shaara focuses our attention on these battles and generals. The gods/generals are seen as people more than military heroes. They have our hopes and joys, our depression and sadness. They have families and very mixed emotions about the war. The writing is exceptionally good though it can be a challenge following who is where.
I have read other Jeff Shaara novels and they are all worth reading. And you will be learning history as well.
GO! BUY! READ!
–Jim Harris, retired book sales rep
Jim is our most prolific One Nightstand contributor, but you can contribute, too! Simply click the “Tell us what you’re reading” button in the sidebar and share your thoughts on the book on your stack right now.