Killer Angels

Killer Angels

by Michael Shaara

Overview: In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation’s history, two armies fought for two conflicting dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty were also the casualties of war. Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece is unique, sweeping, unforgettable—the dramatic story of the battleground for America’s destiny.

Rona Simmons (11/02/16): The definitive novel about the Civil War, The Killer Angels blends fact with fiction, provides maps for the reader to follow the movement of the various armies that made up the two sides, and beautifully rendered musings of home, wives, sons, daughters, as well as fear of what is to come in the four days of fighting around Gettysburg. Several passages stand out for me, primarily portraits of Robert E. Lee and how near death he was, how long it took the two sides to maneuver into position and the difficulty the generals had in gaining intelligence about the enemy and communicating with their men at the front, a description of close combat that is horrific and palpable, one officer’s first face-to-face encounter with a black man, and the assertion that the war was more about preservation of a way of life and fears of returning or perpetuating the European aristocratic heritage, than slavery. Perhaps a bit plodding in today’s fast read, quick reward environment, but for anyone interested in the era, the battle and the circumstances that brought the two sides into conflict, a read well worth your time.
Rating: ****

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