One of the best books ever about the Civil War. It's historical fiction but the battle info is pretty much fact. It is about the Battle of Gettysburg as seen from the point of Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, and other leaders there at the battle. Ken Burns said this book "changed his life" and after reading this, he did his "Civil War" production.
This book drew me in and when I was finished with it, I felt as though I had been there at Gettsyburg. Depicts the rawness of battle and both the stupidity and courage of men.
This novel reveals more about the Battle of Gettysburg than any piece of learned nonfiction on the same subject. Michael Shaara's account of the three most important days of the Civil War features deft characterizations of all of the main actors, including Lee, Longstreet, Pickett, Buford, and Hancock. The most inspiring figure in the book, however, is Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose 20th Maine regiment of volunteers held the Union's left flank on the second day of the battle. This unit's bravery at Little Round Top helped turned the tide of the war against the rebels. There are also plenty of maps, which convey a complete sense of what happened July 1-3, 1863. Reading about the past is rarely so much fun as on these pages.
I thought it was a tad hard to follow all the characters -- unless you're a Civil War buff or paid better attention in History class than I did -- but this is a compelling story of the battle at Gettysburg as viewed from both sides. The dialogue follows what is historically known about these "players" without making it sound too "made up."
The books does not deal with the gruesome details of the battlefield, but depicts insight into the soldiers' feelings, the respect they had for their leaders, and the courage they faced in following those leaders' commands beyond all.
A definite must read.
This is an exceptional book - even though I'm not "into" the Civil War, I found this to be very, very interesting. It explores the decisions and personalities on both sides of the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as the lay of the land, and helps you understand what went on throughout the planning and duration of the battle and why it was so devastating to all. You might think a novel based on one battle would be rather dry - not true, it is very readable. I recommend it!