"The battle of Gettysburg featured a cast of characters dramatically
and poignantly portrayed in Michael Shaara's THE KILLER
ANGELS. This new novel by his son Jeff Shaara
describes the interconnected paths that brought these men together at this
crossroads of our history. Readers of THE KILLER ANGELS won't want to miss
GODS AND GENERALS."
--James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom
Here is Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson,
a hopelessly by-the-book military instructor and devout Christian. His fierce
exterior hides a compassionate soul that few--students and soldiers alike--will
ever see, and he becomes the greatest commander of the Civil War. We follow
Winfield Scott Hancock, a Captain of Quartermasters
who is assigned command of a brigade of infantry, quickly establishing himself
as one of the finest leaders in the Union army. Then there is Joshua
Chamberlain, who gives up his promising academic career to volunteer
for service in the new army, only to become one of the most heroic soldiers
in American history. And here, too, is a brilliant portrait of the complex,
aristocratic Robert E. Lee, who is faced with
the agonizing decision of resigning from a distinguished thirty-year army
career in order to defend his home, never believing until too late that
a civil war would ever truly come to pass.
"Shaara tells a tale impressive in its sweep, depth of character and
historic verisimilitude....Like his father, Shaara gets deeply into the
minds of his protagonists....The Shaara genes, it seems, are in fine shape."
As the war gathers momentum, Stonewall Jackson wins his reputation by a
series of stinging victories over ineptly led Union forces. Lee, finally
given command of the Confederate forces, recognizes that this strange, devout,
and dangerous man is his greatest weapon. For a time, it truly seems as
if God is on their side and that Lee will lead his army to final victory
against overwhelming odds. Nowhere is this more plain than at the Battle
of Fredericksburg, where, for the first time, all four men meet on the
same field and experience the exhilaration and raw horror of battle from
four very different points of view.
But it is in the next great fight, the Battle of Chancellorsville, that
Lee's brilliant strategy and Jackson's supreme achievement are overshadowed
when Jackson is mortally wounded by his own men. This loss is the true turning
point of the war. Lee now realizes that against the ever-growing number
of Union forces, he can only win by a direct threat to Washington. So the
battle-hardened armies of the Confederacy begin their fateful invasion of
the North, toward an obscure crossroads in Pennsylvania called Gettysburg.
Beautifully written, compelling on the battlefields and in the minds of
its characters, profound in its insights, GODS AND GENERALS is truly a worthy companion volume
to the timeless THE KILLER ANGELS.
"Shaara's wonderful command of detail and his generally shrewd depiction
of character make for an impressive debut."
AN ALTERNATE SELECTION OF THE BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB,
THE HISTORY BOOK CLUB, AND
THE QUALITY PAPERBACK BOOK CLUB
Now available in Ballantine Trade Paperback (345-40957-4, $12.95,
$17.95 in Canada)
and as a Random House Audio Book--July 1996, abridged, 4 hours, read by Stephen Lang.
(0-679-45188-9, $23.50, $28.50 in Canada) Order the book |
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