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150 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect companion book to "Killer Angels", July 4, 2000
This review is from: Stars in Their Courses: The Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863 (Hardcover)
The first Civil War book I ever read (not counting Stephen Crane's "Red Badge Of Courage" which I read back in the 10th grade), was Michael Shaara's "Killer Angels," an excellent book, moving and informative though somewhat discursive and lacking in as much battle detail as the reader may ultimately desire to know. That was by design as Shaara was seeking to show us the interior lives of the officers who fought at Gettysburg. In this sense "Killer Angels" is more like a novel than a history. "Stars In Their Courses" is a much more richly detailed - and not novelistic (though certainly not lacking in drama) - book, a book whose historical context is more fully exposed: each of the terrible interlocking events of those three days is exploded on the page so that we get a fuller appreciation of the totality of that battle, the "high-water mark of the Confederacy."
I encourage anyone who is interested in furthering their understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg, or of simply reading a great book about the turning point in America's most devastating war, to read this book. And make sure, while you're at it, to also read "Killer Angels." Side by side these book give a fascinating view of three bloody days in the fields and woods of Pennsylvania.
As an addendum, I would like to say that, while this book is more straightforward and less like a novel than KA, it is during the reading of Pickett's Charge from this book that both my wife and I broke down in tears.
EKW
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 5, 2008 3:59:58 PM PST
Well, as a matter of clarification, Killer Angels is a novel. Troops were not always where Shaara put them and he took considerable literary license with character portrayals with that of R.E. Lee being the most controversial.

Additionally, Foote educated himself to become a novelist. While he did write a number of them, he remains far better known for the Civil War narrative. Nonetheless, he brings a novelist's style to the story telling. That's why his characters "stand up off the page and cast a shadow" as he once described one of his writing objectivies.
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