It has been a while since I have blogged about books that really are special.
I just finished the third book in this series. The first book; Gods and Generals was written by Jeff Shaara, the second Killer Angels by his father Michael Shaara and the third, Last Full Measure by Jeff Shaara.
Michael wrote Killer angels first and the mid seventies. The book did not receive much attention until after it was made into a movie called Gettysburg. Then the book was widely acclaimed. Unfortunately Michael Shaara had passed away. His son Jeff decided to write a book taking place during the first part of the Civil war and a second book taking the war to its close. Although the Jeff Shaara books are not quite as powerful or well written as his father’s book they are well worth reading. The books should be read in order.
After finishing The Last Full Measure, I felt like I had some how managed to take part in the horror of the war from both sides. I am, by birth and by what I knew about the Civil war a total Northerner. These books showed me how it felt to believe in both sides. I went through several battles step by step feeling everyone’s pane. My heart broke over and over again for both sides. I fell in love with General Lee and learned more than I ever knew about Grant. I felt like I lost a friend with the passing of general after general on both sides. I personally saw friendships pulled apart and end up with friends facing each other on the battle field.
This was a war fought for what people believed in and it was not nearly as simple as I thought. By the end of the final book these were men who wore grey or blue more than they were southerners or northerners.
I could not read these books without taking a break in between each one.
Don’t settle for abridged versions.
Stock up on tissues and take the time it takes to let these generals take you through their war and you will never be the same.