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4.6.12

Killer Angels

My son, Miller, has chosen Jeff Shaara's new novel Blaze of Glory for his beach novel this summer.  It is the first installation in a new series about the Battle at Shiloh fought during the Civil War.  He first fell in love with this genre when he read Michael Shaara's, father to Jeff, Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Killer Angels. This novel tells the story of the Battle at Gettysburg and would be good for older readers (7th-12th).

Killer Angels is wonderfully written. I read it last spring as we were driving to Pennsylvania to see the battlefield at Gettysburg for ourselves. The dialogue flows authentically and gives you a more intimate look at many of the biggest names of the Civil War.  Shaara relies heavily on the actual military personnel that were known to be present during the four days of battle.  He focuses on many of the key assaults, like Little Round Top, that determined the final outcome of what we have come to call simply Gettysburg. There is but one fictional character in the story-Buster Kilrain.  He is assigned to Joshua Chamberlain during Little Round Top and proves a friend and worthy warrior. Buster is a beautifully imagined and developed character.

If you haven't made your summer plans yet, you might consider checking one of the many Civil War Battlefields that are part of the national and state park systems.  It is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the war, so all of the associated parks have special events planned.  If you are making your way to Gettysburg or Shiloh, pick up the Shaara's novels for a little insight and adventure.

Gettysburg Novels
  • Gods and Generals
  • Killer Angels
  • The Last Full Measure
Shiloh
  • Blaze of Glory

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