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The Killer Angels Paperback – 15 Aug 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited (15 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846970865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846970863
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 350,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'The best and most realistic historical novel about war I have ever read.' --General H Norman Schwarzkopf

'My favourite historical novel ... A superb recreation of the Battle of Gettysburg, but its real importance is its insight into what the war was about, and what it meant.' --James M McPherson

About the Author

Michael Shaara (1928-88) was an American writer of science, sports and historical fiction. He served in the Korean War, was an amateur boxer and police officer. He later taught literature at Florida State University. 'The Killer Angels' won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K A Byrne on 10 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up just an hour from the beautiful countryside that is Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As a child and young adult I had visited the battlefield there on numerous school trips and family outings. But it wasn't until I read Killer Angels that those familiar landmarks (Little and Big Round Top, Devils Den, etc), came to represent the human cost of one of the bloodiest battles in American History.

Killer Angels gives us the key players, the Confederate and Union Officers, that made the crucial decisions and/or had to carry them out. The story provides the reader with a sense of the professional and personal motivations behind their decisions and the interpersonal relationships that existed not just between officers in the same army, but relationships that had existed between officers on the opposing side.

Michael Shaara manages to provide a vivid account of the Battle of Gettysburg that never takes sides. He simply unfolds the three days and leaves his readers to witness the carnage that results. This is an extremely well written book which makes it a pleasure to read. The difficulty comes in managing the fact that this "story" is based on real events resulting in unimaginable human loss and devastation.

An excellent book...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Iain S. Palin on 3 April 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating and well-written book, and it formed the basis of a fascinating and well-made, if somewhat under-rated, film (“Gettysburg”). The battle of Gettysburg in 1863 is often seen as a turning point of the American Civil War and its climax in Pickett’s Charge on the battle’s third day has become known as “the high-water mark of the Confederacy”. There is truth in this although things were rather more complicated – it was, after all, a vast and complicated war.
For many historians the main lesson to be drawn from Gettysburg is what happens when a general comes to believe that he and his army are unbeatable. The battle had its fair share of good and bad luck, and good and bad judgements, on both sides, but it seems clear that Robert E. Lee, Confederate commander and one of the best generals of the war, fought a battle he did not need to fight in a way that favoured the other side, and to all intents and purposes facilitated the Union victory.
The book reads well as a novel, as an account of men in battle, and as piece of history that seems to stick closely to the facts (though naturally not covering all of them).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos on 15 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This Pulitzer Prize winning novel retells the Battle of Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) from the viewpoints of the major participants, both North and South. It falls into the category of historical fiction and is based on well researched facts, to be precise *seven* years of research and writing revisions (as stated on the jacket cover). It depicts actual events with the imagination of the author filling in the feelings and thoughts of General Robert E. Lee, Colonel Chamberlain, Buford, Longstreet, Ewell, Pickett, Armistead, during key positions and outcomes of this most important battle during the American Civil War. Highly acclaimed by both, Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf and film maker Ken Burns, this book deserves a wider reading audience.
Similar to "All Quiet on the Western Front" and "Red Badge of Courage", the reader is given a first hand account of what it is like to have lived through this major historical turning point of the war. What otherwise would be dry, cold hard facts becomes a living event, felt and experienced in all of its glory, gory details, and sadness. Human emotions, hope, longing, courage, deprivation, fatigue, love, loyalty, regrets and faith in God are clearly shown. Anyone who wants to learn more about the Civil War but was hesitant should read this book. It makes history come alive. I was so capitvated, I bought the prequel and sequel, written by the author's son, Jeff Shaara, who continued the writing tradition started by his late father. One readily appreciates how fragile a gift is freedom and democracy, not to be taken for granted. The United States as a nation underwent one of the most tragic events in its history ... to maintain unity and integrity ... this should never be forgotten.
Erika Borsos (bakonyvilla)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos on 20 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
This Pulitzer Prize winning novel retells the Battle of Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) from the viewpoints of the major participants, both North and South. It falls into the category of historical fiction and is based on well researched facts, to be precise *seven* years of research and writing revisions (as stated on the jacket cover). It depicts actual events with the imagination of the author filling in the feelings and thoughts of General Robert E. Lee, Colonel Chamberlain, Buford, Longstreet, Ewell, Pickett, Armistead, during key positions and outcomes of this most important battle during the American Civil War. Highly acclaimed by both, Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf and filmaker Ken Burns, this book deserves a wider reading audience.
Similar to "All Quiet on the Western Front" and "Red Badge of Courage", the reader is given a first hand account of what it is like to have lived through this major historical turning point of the war. What would otherwise be dry, cold hard facts becomes a living event, felt and experienced in all of its glory, gory details, and sadness. The human emotions of hope, longing, courage, deprivation, fatigue, love, loyalty, regrets and faith in God is clearly shown. Anyone who wants to learn more about the Civil War but was hesitant ... should read this book, which makes history come alive. I was so capitvated, I bought the sequels, written by the author's son, Jeff Shaara, who continued the writing tradition started by his late father. One readily appreciates how fragile a gift is freedom and democracy, it is not to be taken for granted. The United States as a nation underwent one of the most tragic events in its history ... to maintain unity and integrity ... this should never be forgotten.
Erika Borsos (bakonyvilla)
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