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Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War Hardcover – 26 Jun 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press (26 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031230935X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312309350
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Two respected historians, one horrific battle - and the challenging question of "what if...?' Sure to become a Civil War classic..."--W.E.B. Griffin, author of Final Justice

About the Author

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is the author of five books including the bestsellers "Contract with America "and "To Renew America." He is the CEO of The Gingrich Group and an analyst for the Fox News Channel. Dr. William R. Forstchen is the author of over thirty works of historical fiction, science fiction, young adult works, and traditional historical research. He holds a Ph.D. with a specialization in military history from Purdue University.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 19 May 2004
Format: Paperback
For the first three days of July each year I watch the film "Gettysburg," based on Michael Shaara's "The Killer Angels," so of course I would be interested in reading "Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War" written by fellow Amazon reviewer Newt Gingrich and military historian William R. Forstchen. The book sat on my shelf for a couple of months before I decided to read it, at which point I took over the cover with ever bothering to look at it. Since I had missed all of the publicity for the novel, I actually started this book without knowing that it would turn into a "what if?" revision of the pivotal Civil War battle and finished it without being aware that it was the first in a trilogy, the second volume of which, "Grant Comes East," is due out next month.
Consequently, when on the night of July 1, 1863 General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, agrees with the suggestion of his senior corps commander, James Longstreet, that the Confederates pull away from Gettysburg and seek better ground on which to destroy the Union Army of the Potomac, I knew immediately that the authors were diverging from the path of history. My immediate reaction was that this would be interesting. Once of the problems with telling the story of the Battle of Gettysburg as a novel is that Shaara already won the Pulitzer Prize for doing so, and it is impossible to read the events of the first day of the battle without being aware of how Gingrich and Forstchen are stepping around Shaara's story of how John Buford's Federal cavalry delayed the Confederate advance long enough to preserve the lovely high ground at Gettysburg for the Union army and Henry Hunt's artillery.
Up to the night of July 1 this novel sticks very close to what really happened.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Haschka HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
There's a small part of me screaming out that GETTYSBURG is a transparent attempt by co-author and Southerner Newt Gingrich to immerse himself and readers from below the Mason-Dixon line in a fantasy consistent with the sentiment, "The South shall rise again." And my first gut response is, "The Confederacy lost the war; get over it!" Having said that, however, I must go on to say that this alternative history of the events from July 1-4, 1863 is one of the two best works on the Civil War I've ever read, the other being that superb 3-volume narrative history of the conflict by Shelby Foote. The fact that Newt's GETTYSBURG is fiction makes it all the more remarkable.
History has it that on Day 1 of the Gettysburg battle the vanguard of Bobbie Lee's Army of Northern Virginia drove lead elements of George Meade's Army of the Potomac from Gettysburg, the latter digging in on the hills and ridgeline south of the town. Lee's blood was up, and spent the next two days futilely attempting to take those heights against the advice of his chief lieutenant, General Longstreet, who advocated a flanking maneuver around the Union left. In GETTYSBURG, Lee not only bows to Longstreet's counsel, but goes one step further, sending his army on a wide right sweep into Meade's rear to capture the Union Army's supply base at Westminster and cut the Army of the Potomac off from Washington, DC. What results is the apocalyptic Battle of Union Mills on July 4.
There are two things that make this novel so darn good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Sep 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
first in a trilogy of alternate history novels that tell the story of how the american civil war could have gone very differently. Early on in the battle of gettysburg, confederate general lee listens to the advice of his commanders, and thus things go very differently to how they did in real life. the novel the story of what happens next.

Just over five hundred pages long, and a superb read. as typical with novels of this genre the characters are a mix of real people and creations of the writers, and all the historical figures come over well. I didn't know much about union general hancock before, but I want to know because he comes over as a very good leader. Where this book really scores is in depicting the horrors of the battle and the confusion of the time. It seems strange in this day of satellites to think two big armies could be in one american state without knowing where the other was, but that was the case back then.

Added to which, it is supremely readable with very good prose. I have ordered the next two volumes in the trilogy because I want to know what happens next.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. G. Nuttall on 22 April 2004
Format: Hardcover
I must admit, at the risk of losing my status in the AH world, that I wascompletely unaware of this book before discovering it on my Library'sbookshelves. After the disaster of '1945', (see my Blog), I thought thatthe odds of anyone agreeing to do a book with Newt Gingrich to be fat,slim and none. Proving a glutton for punishment, or so I thought, WilliamForstchen (Lost Regiment, 1945) has apparently written another book withNewt. Dear me, I thought, and took it with me on my trip to Bolton.
Much to my surprise, this is actually a very good stand-alone book, withfew of the problems that plagued 1945. The basic plot revolves around avery different battle of Gettysburg, in which Lee launches an extra attackon the first day and is convinced that the Yankees position is too strongto attack directly. Instead, Lee matches to the Union's supply depot andcaptures it, forcing Meade to launch suicidal attacks and crushing theUnion army.
The book is fast-paced and readable. There are a few problems, such asbadly drawn maps and a slight political bias; the CSA's commanders aremainly larger-than-life figures, while the USA's commanders are fools. The one competent commander on the Union's side is a democrat! Don't letthat distract you, though, as its generally easy to keep track of theaction and follow the battle.
The book also has odd moments of humour. There is the exposure of a CSAspy though the device of his son taking the USA troops for CSA troops. There is also the brave, but stupid boy who is foolish enough to walk inthe battlefield and unlucky enough to be spanked by a trooper from eachside.
I have been informed (through Amazon, not the book itself) that it's thefirst part of a trilogy. That is bad news; as far as I am concerned, forthe team have a habit of starting book series and never finishing them. Other reviewers have also stated that the characterisian is bad, althoughI generally liked it.
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