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Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields: Discovering America's Hallowed Ground Paperback – April 25, 2006
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Shaara is the author of two "nonfiction novels" that completed the Civil War trilogy begun by his late father, Michael, with the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels (2001). Here Shaara provides a guide to 10 of the most significant Civil War battlefields. He begins with the first great bloodletting at Shiloh, and he concludes with Petersburg, a sustained seige with World War I-style trench warfare. Shaara superbly provides context for the actual battles by describing the physical settings as well as the military environment that precipitated the battles. Shaara is at his best, however, in describing the ebb and flow of the fighting. He describes in vivid--and often necessarily gruesome--detail episodes like the death of Albert Johnston at Shiloh, the famed charge of the 20th Maine at Gettysburg, and the machinelike mowing down of Union troops at Cold Harbor. The text is amply supported by maps and photos. This is an informative and moving examination of "hallowed ground" that will appeal to both scholars and Civil War buffs, especially those planning to visit these sites. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of A Chain of Thunder, A Blaze of Glory, The Final Storm, No Less Than Victory, 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.
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This book gave me the cleanest, most compact view of the Civil War I have ever read. This is not a big volume, every battle fought book, but a ten concise chapter geographic and chronologic guide. Jeff Shaara takes the reader from the April 6, 1862 Shiloh Tennessee bloodletting reality of the struggle ahead to the tenth chapter tactical chess game around Petersburg Virginia that lead to the April 9, 1865 check mate of General Lee at nearby Appomattox.
Each chapter begins with, "What Happened Here" followed by, "Why Is The battle Important", giving a broader context relative to the progress of the war, and finally, "What You Should See". This last section is a good guide for the traveler, yet is so descriptive that even the arm chair traveler gets a real sense of the terrain and a visualization of the events that transpired.
I recommend this book both to the generally curious and the studiously serious of the Civil War. It inspired me to specifically travel through the battlegrounds in the order Mr. Shaara so vividly portrays.
Dr. Charles Dusenbury
The Civil Wat Guide is of course not a novel and therefore abides by the known facts. To this, the author continues in his known pattern of exhaustive research and regurgitates that mountain of knowledge gleaned into an easily accessed and truncated account, even in the point form to which he is limited from time to time.
The book is now a constant reference on my desk right beside "Janes Guide to Navy Vessels".
If You are a Student of the Civil War, this volume is an essential tool to have in your library.