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Gods and Generals: A Novel of the Civil War (Civil War Trilogy) Paperback – May 13, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
While `Killer Angels' is indeed a wonderful civil war novel I feel to continuously mention both books in the same sentence does each a dis-service. Jeff and Michael Shaara, although father and son, are different people and consequently different authors. Thus to review `Gods and Generals' from the shadow of `Killer Angels' is not something I wish to do here. Therefore this is a review of `Gods and Generals' as a stand-alone novel.
First time author Michael Shaara has written an excellent account of both the pre-war and early war years. The novel offers an insight into the lives and motivations of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson of the Confederacy and Winfield Scott Hancock and Joshua Chamberlain of the Union. Shaara uses the experiences of these men in a skilful manner to elaborate and expand on the politics and events that occurred during the years 1858 to 1863. In doing so he is able to bring these four into contact with many figures that played a role in the war; Longstreet, Davis, Hooker, Burnside and so on. The result is a believable and comprehensive account that enables the reader to stay closely involved with the decision-makers of the war. Shaara is also able to write convincingly of the internal beliefs and philosophies that motivated individuals to take up arms against their fellow Americans.Read more ›
I did not know much about the details of the Civil War before reading this excellent book by Jeff Shaara. Shaara truly brings the details of the war and the people who fought it to vivid life, painting detailed visual pictures with his rich prose. This may be historical "fiction", but Shaara gets into the heads of his characters and gives the reader insights into the Civil War that could never be learned from a textbook. Shaara does this so well, letting the reader know what his main characters are thinking and feeling as they participate in history. Even though the book is 500 pages, it is still an absorbing read that holds one's interest to the very last page. You will not be disappointed in this book. Not only will you learn the details of the Civil War, but you will enjoy every minute doing it!
I am watching Ken Burn's DVD series on the Civil War as I read Shaara's book, and I find it to be a complementary souce to Shaara's "Gods and Generals"; Burn's series providing the framework, and Sharra filling in the personal details.
I look forward to reading the next two books in this series. If they are as good as this one, and I'm sure they will be, I will have many pleasent hours of reading and learning ahead.
If you are interested in the Civil War and want a place to start, I highly recommend "Gods and Generals".
Jim Konedog Koenig
His characters are well rounded in this prequal that covers the years before 1863. I particularly enjoyed his treatment of Gen. Hancock. The dialog is believable and his characters never seem out of character to those familiar with the historical accounts of the same men.
It's an interesting book that gets beyond the history of the early Civil War. It lets the reader feel that they are witness to a plausible behind the scenes treatment of men compelled and called upon to do terrible things in support of their vision of America.
I would rate this a notch below "The Killer Angles." That was such a superb book in my mind that the son's book still merits mention as a very enjoyable read.
"Gods and Generals" is a slam-bang precursor to his father's "Killer Angels," and I for one am hard-pressed to say which I enjoyed more. True, the father and son have written historical novels -- but what history! What great stories!
For the first time readers are given an impression, a direct feel, for the personal, psychological and behavioral bent of the main characters in this drama of the American Civil War. I only wish that the son had addressed Buford in his work.
I've walked the battlefields of Fredericksburg and the Wilderness. Jeff Shaara brings them to life, and tells a compelling tale of the principle actors on those bloody stages.
The religious fervor Shaara imputes to the commanders, particularly Jackson and Lee, is a commentary on the war fervor of the South in general. How could one fight to dissolve the Union without God on one's side?
If you have read "Killer Angels" then you must read "Gods and Generals." If you have not, then read "Gods and Generals" first, then immediately go to the father's work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not by the same author of The Killer Angels; this is by his son. Not as flowing. It starts average but the final 100+ pages move well. Read morePublished 4 days ago by R. Stephenson
Great read an I enjoyed thank you for posting it.
cheers bob zaher
This was a great insight into the personalities, weaknesses and strengths of the men who lead in the civil war.Published 1 month ago by Dale Strigo
Live these moments of profound impact on American history through these important characters.
These players in the tragic war scenario reveal much of vulnerabilities leaders... Read more
It's not a terrible read, however this author has trouble putting together a grammatically correct sentence. Where was his editor? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Susan M.
I borrowed the e-book version from Amazon. The book itself has many maps included with the chapters. The e-book version does not. The book itself is excellent. Read morePublished 2 months ago by fastgramps