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Gone for Soldiers: A Novel of the Mexican War Unbound – Import, January 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Unbound
  • Publisher: Ballantine (2000)
  • ISBN-10: 0345444396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345444394
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,143,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of The Steel Wave, The Rising Tide, To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure-two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his father's Pulitzer Prize--winning classic The Killer Angels. Shaara was born into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. He lives in Gettysburg.

Customer Reviews

If you have read his others, you will find yourself wanting to reread them.
L. Martineau
Shaara writes historical military fiction that is well researched and weaves a compelling story into actual events.
Peter Barnett
Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels won the Pulitzer Prize and became the television movie Gettysburg.
John W. Bates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Draegen on May 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Having brought the Civil War to life through his continuation of his father's classic, "The Killer Angels," Jeff Shaara has now ressurected one of America's most forgotten wars, the Mexican War.
In his latest novel, Mr. Shaara introduces us to many of the Civil War's greatest leaders as they learn their craft under fire in Mexico. The book follows the exploits and deeds of one General Winfield Scott as he leads the campaign to defeat Santa Anna's army.
At his side is a young engineer, Capt. Robert E. Lee. Shaara's portrayal of Lee as a young officer, unsure of his untested abilities and his place in the command structure, is truly wonderful. It is a whole different Lee than the polished General of the Civil War. With each new mission Scott assigns him, we can see Lee grow and mature as an officer.
Many of the other men who would later become Generals are also with Lee in Mexico, Grant, Jackson, Meade, Johnston, Pickett, Longstreet, albeit as Lieutenants. They are not given the same in depth treatment as Lee, but already you can see their abilities developing for command.
General Scott and Santa Anna are also portrayed in manners rarely seen. Few modern Americans have heard of Scott, which is a shame since he was one of the best Generals in our early history. Santa Anna is usually mentioned only in conjunction with the Alamo, but here he is given a very fair treatment.
Overall I would say this book is every bit as good as the Shaaras' works on the Civil War. Once again Jeff Shaara has restored life to a long dead period of our nation's history.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Dennis J. Buckley on May 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jeff Shaara is a fine craftsman, as is reflected in this account of the Mexican War as seen by men who figured prominently in the Civil War.
This work, while not strictly history, is valuable for the attention it brings to the Mexican-American War. That war is not often discussed and seems to be consistently misunderstood.
My criticism of the book is stylistic, and is admittedly that of one who "criticizes" rather than "does:" the internal monologues of many of the characters have a sameness of tone and orientation. I found that Robert E. Lee sounds a lot like Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in later Shaara novels. The lack of differentiation in "voice" is the novel's most obvious flaw.
On the plus side is any sort of insight into R.E. Lee before he became a mythic figure in American history. Shaara's view of Lee in his formative combat experience is well thought out, the problem of "voice" notwithstanding. Also appealing is the reminder and image of Lee fighting under the Stars and Stripes.
Well-illustrated with battle maps, this is an easy and enjoyable read.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By L. Martineau on May 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first fell in love with The Civil War period when I was a girl reading The Killer Angels. Since then, I have read MANY historical novels of this period, and as a literature teacher, literally thousands of many historical periods and cultures. Jeff Shaara continues in his father's tradition but with more heart. I not only enjoy his books for myself, but have watched as my students have become hooked, as well. One of my students' favorite assignments is contrasting the Shaara view of war with Crane's. Shaara's language is accessible to all readers and his characters believable and sensitive. They are no longer vague names in some history text. They come alive. I see my students really CARING about history. No longer is the North always right and the South always evil. They understand the conflicts people like Lee and Hancock felt. History is not just a series of dates to memorize for a test. It is the story of a real people; OUR people; US. Shaara makes his readers want to delve into the non-fiction to compare and contrast. They want to examine the issues and virtues that define Man. THAT is good literature, and, I would argue, its purpose. Shaara's gracious reader notes make clear that this is fiction, not intended to be taken as gospel. However, his meticulous research, solely of primary sources, lends credence to his interpretations. How wonderful to have a writer so clearly paint these people that the reader is compelled to read the diaries and letters himself!
This latest, Gone for Soldiers,is a fast-paced page-turner examining a war so often overlooked in our history. We not only meet the younger Lees, Grants and Longstreets, but also are confronted with the disturbing similiarities to Viet Nam, as well.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mathew A. Shember VINE VOICE on May 17, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Following the approach of the 3 Civil war books, we take a ride with Robert E. Lee and Winfield Scott through the landings at Vera Cruz with the march to Chapultepec and Mexico City.
The chapter tags are mainly:
Robert E. Lee the old new captain(40 years old) immediatly shows his talent for the battle field as a scout and engineer which is immediatly recognised by Winfield Scott. You watch him perform his functions with skill and daring and yet still have moments of doubt. You watch him grow into the postion and see the makings of the future commander of the South.
Winfield Scott, ol Fuss and Feathers, comes to highly regard Lee and shows it by desiring his company more then his staff. Scott the commanding General deals with goverment politics, glory hunting divisional comanders as he tries to lead the army in a new way of combat versus the outdated principles of Napoleon. The author did a good job at trying to get his feeling for the man across. He a soldier to the core and dispises political people and the glory seekers. He can't stand his son-in-law, his adjunt, and he torments his Sargent to no end. You see him become a diplomat and is actually offered Dictatorship of Mexico. All in all you get a good introduction to one of America's best and probably most unknown generals. Much of his acomplishments were overshadowed by the Civil War. A tribute to the man is the fact that the West Point Uniforms are the uniforms Scott's troops wore in the War of 1812. Also, the Duke of Wellington called him the best soldier of his generation.
Along the way you meet other personalities.
The dark and brooding Thomas Jackson as Lee remarked "This man needs War" You get to a chapter of his famous duel with Mexican Cannons at Chapultepec.
Ulysis S.
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