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The Last Full Measure: A Novel (Random House Large Print) Paperback – Large Print, May 19, 1998


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Amazon.com Review

Author Jeff Shaara rounds out the Civil War trilogy started by his late father Michael Shaara, whose book The Killer Angels describes the Battle of Gettysburg. Just as Jeff Shaara's Gods and Generals covers action prior to Gettysburg, The Last Full Measure picks up with Confederate General Robert E. Lee's retreat from Pennsylvania and continues through the end of the war. Shaara focuses on the characters of Lee and Union commander Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, both of whom play prominent roles in the earlier books. He also introduces a new one: Ulysses S. Grant, the Union general who would finally defeat the South--something no soldier before him could manage. The Last Full Measure is often exciting and poignant, and fans of The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals won't be disappointed. --John Miller --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Concluding the Civil War trilogy that began with his father Michael's Pulitzer-winning The Killer Angels, Shaara (Gods and Generals) chronicles Lee's retreat from Gettysburg and his valiant efforts to defend northern Virginia from Grant's superior, better-supplied forces. Seen alternately through the eyes of Lee, Grant and Maine abolitionist Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the narrative begins with the successful Union ambush at Bristoe Station in October 1863. It then details Lee's 18-month cat-and-mouse game as he outmaneuvers Grant, despite overwhelming odds and terrible deprivation, concludes with Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Impressively researched, this deeply affecting work can't be faulted for inaccuracy or lack of detail. But the occasionally coarse grain of Shaara's characterizations is a problem. Haunted by Stonewall Jackson's ghost, 56-year-old Lee frequently appears to be a semisenile neurotic. Grant, more concerned about his supply of cigars than battle losses, comes across as a dolt. This tendency toward caricature notwithstanding, Shaara has produced a stirring epigraph to his father's remarkable novel. Major ad/promo; first serial to Civil War Times Illustrated; BOMC and QPB alternates; author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Random House Large Print
  • Paperback: 782 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Large Print (May 19, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375702911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375702914
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (333 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,967,279 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

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on November 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jeff Shaara follows in his father's footsteps ... big shoes to fill indeed! He does a highly admirable job of researching and writing about the heroes, both North and South, who fought during the last two years of the Civil War. This book provides the reader a ring-side seat to key battles and positions, as each side fights to their last full measure of strength. The reader is provided personal information about the lives of the major players: General Robert E. Lee, General Ulysses S. Grant, and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. We get inside the hearts and minds of these soldiers and although fiction it rings true to life. Historical fiction is a marvelous method to learn about detailed and important battles which became turning points in this most fundamental war in the history of the United States.

Most impressive descriptions are provided as General Robert E. Lee struggles in his heart and soul to send his valorous troops against the much better equipped Northern soldiers. We learn how strategy and insight gave the South advantages over technology and numbers, in the beginning. We learn that after Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was given command of the North, the tides turned ... and the reasons why. Maps are provided which give proper visualization to the word descriptions of strategic locations and key battles. Divided into four parts, the prolog to each section uses the words of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address very effectively. Each section includes descriptions of a wide range of events, thorough analysis, and human emotions for the years of the war and post war events that it covers.

The book goes beyond the war to include descriptons of when President Lincoln is shot.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Fred on January 2, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Last Full Measure" has a much more difficult task to undertake than did the original book in the series, "The Killer Angels" by Mr. Shaara's father, Michael Shaara. This book covers the Civil War from the close of the battle at Gettysburg until shortly after the surrender of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, some 3 years, whereas "The Killer Angels" covered only a period of 4 days. Nonetheless, the author does an outstanding job of taking us into the heads of the major players in the war, and as always, does a particularly outstanding job with Confederate General Robert E. Lee. As in his other books, the author writes from the viewpoints of several of the critical individuals who were around at this point in the War.
I read this book after having read "Personal Memoirs" of Union General and former President Ulysses S. Grant, and was somewhat concerned that the sections written from Grant's point of view would be redundant. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were not, and in the end these were some of my favorite parts of the text. It is amazing how informative this book is, and how much effort the author makes to accurately portray the characters and educate the reader about the many interesting aspects of the war. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the Second Battle of the Wilderness, the description of the earthworks and the men who guarded them around Richmond and Petersburg, VA and the fast-paced action that led to Lee's ultimate surrender.
This is a very well-written conclusion to this series. The author covers a lot of ground, but manages to not overwhelm the reader and keep them very engaged. I highly recommend this book.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Tina Shelby on July 12, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While "Killer Angels" tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg in poignant detail, and "Gods and Generals" provides the reader with insight into the minds of the men who commanded the armies of the Civil War, in "The Last Full Measure" Jeff Shaara brings you to your knees. I do a lot of reading during my lunch hour (I hate eating alone in restaurants!) I was sitting in a crowded local McDonald's when I read the part about Robert E. Lee's decision to surrender and the surrender itself and I sat there and cried. I reread it several times and cried every time. When I got home that evening, I read it to my husband. I had to stop several times because my voice kept breaking. By the time I finished we were both in tears. In all of the reading I have done about the civil war, I've never understood the pain of the South's surrender until now. It was heartbreaking! If you care anything about the South, or if you just want to understand why the Confederate soldiers continued to fight when there was nothing left to fight with, read this book!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Paul DeCaporale (decap@home.com) on November 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In reading this book I found it a lot more enjoyable than the other three stories. It gets right down into the heart and soul of the main characters in the book. I don't think that it was to wordy. I think he (Jeff Shaara) put as much effort possible into telling a complete and detailed account on what it was like for the soldiers in the Civil War. I think it is the best out of all three because it really gets into detail about what the soldiers had to go through in order to fight for their country. It shows how through bad and good the men from the South never gave up until they had given their LAST FULL MEASURE! I don't care what anyone says about this book being to wordy because I just think that they need an excuse to put down Jeff. Overall I think Jeff did an unbelievable job finishing what his father started and I hope that he continues to write books about how it was just for regular soldiers. I would like to read how it must have felt for them and not just the generals and people who never got dirty.
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