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Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant: The Final Victory: A Novel of the Civil War (Gettysburg) Mass Market Paperback – April 3, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“With each book in their ongoing alternate history cycle, Gingrich and Forstchen have gone from strength to strength as storytellers.” ―William Trotter, The Charlotte Observer

“The authors' research is impeccable…the reader is left believing it could really have happened this way.” ―Booklist

From the Back Cover

The New York Times bestselling authors of Gettysburg continue their inventive series with this remarkable answer to the great "what-if" of the American Civil War:

Could the South have won?
After his great victories at Gettysburg and Union Mills, General Robert E. Lee's attempt to bring the war to an end by attacking Washington, D.C., fails. However, in securing Washington, the remnants of the valiant Union Army of the Potomac are trapped and destroyed. For Lincoln, there is only one hope left, that General Ulysses S. Grant can save the Union cause.
NEVER CALL RETREAT

It is August 22, 1863. Pursuing the Union troops up to the banks of the Susquehanna, Lee is caught off balance when news arrives that Grant, in command of over seventy thousand men, has crossed that same river. The two armies finally collide in Central Maryland and a bloody weeklong battle ensues along the banks of Monocacy Creek. This must be the "final" battle for both sides.
"With each book in their ongoing alternate history cycle, Gingrich and Forstchen have gone from strength to strength as storytellers."―William Trotter, The Charlotte Observer

"The authors' research is impeccable…the reader is left believing it could really have happened this way."―Booklist

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Product Details

  • Series: Gettysburg
  • Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312949316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312949310
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Surface to Air Missle VINE VOICE on July 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Never Call Retreat is the third and final book of an alternative Civil War history, co-authored by Newt Gringrich and William Forstchen. This book continues the exciting and well thought out trilogy that is the new pinnacle for the small but growing mini-genre of Civil War fiction.

The book continues in the exact same style as its predecessors, accentuating character relationships between the top generals of both sides (Lee, Grant, Longstreet, President Lincoln, etc). We also get the standard two or three other characters from both sides who are given major chapter time and are interesting everyday characters who are caught up in the action. The other major strength of the book is the fictional tactical moves both sides make and the description of the action. You can tell a lot of homework was done prior to this series.

Overall this was a fantastic series and I enjoyed equally as much as Shaara's series even though it's tough to compare since one is alternative history while the other is a fictional account of actual events. Most importantly, Gingrich and Forstchen clearly have a love and respect for the history of the Civil War and it shows through in the actions and stoicism of his characters and setting. They create the awe and grandeur that is associated with great Civil War media and they are clearly fanatical about all the major characters.

Bottom Line: Obviously should not be read without reading the prior two. A fantastic conclusion to the series.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was halfway through "Gettysburg," the first novel in this series by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen before I realized that I was reading an alternative history akin to "Guns of the South" than a historical novel in the mode of "The Killer Angels" (this is what happens when you make a point of ignoring reviews and discarding book jackets before reading books you really want to read). However, once I caught on to the game I was along for the ride, not only because I appreciate the idea of fighting new battles on different battlefield, but also because I correctly anticipated the end game that the authors were maneuvering towards in this engrossing trilogy.

The series is now up to August 22, 1863. The Army of Northern Virginia under the command of Robert E. Lee has virtually annihilated the Army of the Potomac through a series of battles at Gettysburg, Union Mills, and Gunpowder River. The Confederates unsuccessfully attacked Washington, D.C., but have succeeded in capturing Baltimore, Maryland. Ulysses S. Grant, placed in command of all Union forces by President Abraham Lincoln, is moving with the Army of the Susquehanna, comprised of corps of troops from the Western front that are used to winning against the Rebels, is moving for the final engagement with Lee on the banks of the Monocacy River.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great alternate history of the Civil War that has captured the characters "warts and all". In place of images, we have flesh and blood people trying to win and willing to pay the price of victory. It is not possible to consider this as a stand-alone book but as the finial story in the epic summer of 1863. "Gettysburg" is the alternate history that planted the Army of Northern Virginia firmly in Pennsylvania. "Grant Comes East", is the logical continuation as the CSA tries to capitalize on its' greatest victory. Battles are an integral part of both books but political considerations consume much of our attention. Double-dealing, backstabbing, jockeying for advantage and the secret agendas of Stanton and Sickles cause Lincoln problems, just as Davis is second guessing Lee, every step of the way.

This book is the end of the war. Both sides have paid a very high price to keep Lee and Grant in the field. In spite of setbacks and numerous problems, both men know they must win the war not next year but now. The South has no more resources and the North has seen to many defeats. While the authors remind us that Tennessee is an important front, the war is here in the East.

Civil War armies were hard to destroy. No one battle was going to keep the men from rallying at some point. In the first of the modern total wars, armies not cities are the objective. This grinding down process is captured in an entertaining and informative story. That pulls you in and ties you to it. While the outcome is not in question, the path to it is. The "path" is the story of grinding unrelenting combat. Taken from the history of the 1864 Overland Campaign, the authors give us a very real feel for both the men in the ranks and the generals in charge.
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Format: Hardcover
Great "what if" book. This is book 3 of a 3 part series. These books are hardly pro-Confederate. They essentially show Lee and Longstreet as honorable men, surrounded by egotistical and self-centered politicians and generals. Conversely, the portrayals of Lincoln and Grant could almost be considered hagiography, if this were not a fictional account.

The people giving this book bad reviews obviously have not read it, and they are simply giving it bad reviews because they do not like Newt Gingrich. How childish is that?

Do we have to drag partisan politics into every aspect of our lives? Grow up already.
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