The story of Gods and Generals begins with
Michael Shaara, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic
Killer Angels. A native of New Jersey, Michael Shaara grew to be
an adventurous young man: over the years, he found work as a sailor, a paratrooper, a policeman, and an English professor at
Florida State University. In 1952, his son Jeff was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Michael's interest in Gettysburg was prompted by some letters written by
his great-grandfather, who had been wounded at the great battle while serving
with the 4th Georgia Infantry. In 1966, he took his family on a vacation
to the battlefield and found himself moved.
In 1970, Michael Shaara returned to Gettysburg with his son Jeff. The pair
crisscrossed the historic site, gathering detailed information for the
father's novel-in-progress. In 1974, the novel was published with the title
The Killer Angels. This gripping fictional account of the three bloody
days at Gettysburg won Michael Shaara a Pulitzer Prize and a vast, appreciative
audience. To date it has sold two million copies.
When Michael Shaara died in 1988, his son Jeff began to manage his literary
estate. It was a legacy he knew well, having helped his father create it.
When director Ron Maxwell filmed the movie Gettysburg, based on The
Killer Angels, he asked Jeff to serve as a consultant. Maxwell encouraged
Shaara to continue the story his father began; inspired, Jeff planned an
ambitious trilogy, with The Killer Angels as the centerpiece, following
the war from its origins to its end.
With Gods and Generals, Jeff Shaara gives fans of The Killer Angels
everything they could have asked--an epic, brilliantly written saga that
brings the nation's greatest conflict to life.