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THE KILLER ANGELS Mass Market Paperback – Jun 12 1975

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 12 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345245288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345245281
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.4 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (413 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,191,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

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. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

The late Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (1974) concerns the battle of Gettysburg and was the basis for the 1993 film Gettysburg. The events immediately before and during the battle are seen through the eyes of Confederate Generals Lee, Longstreet, and Armistead and Federal General Buford, Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, and a host of others. The author's ability to convey the thoughts of men in war as well as their confusion-the so-called "fog of battle"-is outstanding. This unabridged version is read clearly by award-winning actor George Hearn, who gives each character a different voice and effectively conveys their personalities; chapters and beginnings and ends of sides are announced. Music from the movie version adds to the drama. All this comes in a beautiful package with a battle map. Recommended for public libraries not owning previous editions from Recorded Books and Blackstone Audio (Audio Reviews, LJ 2/1/92 and LJ 2/1/93, respectively).
Michael T. Fein, Catawba Valley Community Coll., Hickory, N.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. K. Lidster TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 8 2014
Format: Paperback
'The Killer Angels' stands tall as the best historical novel about the civil war ever written, and there have been many. E. L. Doctorow's 'The March', for example, about the military convoy and its swelling ranks of thieves, whores, and freed slaves following General Tecumseh Sherman's trail of destruction, is a great book, but it doesn't manage to convey the scope and complexity of battle with the grace Shaara does. He hovers above the killing fields of Gettysburg like the recording angel itself, examining without judgement the horrors and triumphs, looking into the hearts and minds of the now legendary officers whose fates were decided there. The interactions between an exhausted Lee, who has decided to take the offensive and move into Northern territory for the first time since the war began, and Longstreet, his pragmatic and most trusted friend and general, are unforgettable. Shaara imagines Longstreet's wavering faith in Lee as a near religious crisis. He lets the reader suffer with Lee at the sickening realization he has made a fatal error; that he has wasted tens of thousands of lives on an obvious tactical error; that he has finally lost a battle; and that he had likely lost the war for the Confederate army. Shaara's account of the various decisive military engagements are masterful, in particular Chamberlain's heroic defense of his position on 'Little Round Top', one of the key factors in the Union victory.

Michael Shaara won a Pulitzer for 'The Killer Angels', an honor he very much deserved. He was not a prolific writer, however, and his best work would be his last.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Victor S. Alpher on May 11 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My title is a takeoff on a 60s-70s chant--"We will study war no more." Michael Shaara's book, which won a Pulitzer in 1974, shows why we SHOULD study war. He has taken his vast knowledge of the Civil War in general, and Gettysbury in particular, and shaped an historical novel, not exceedingly long, than delves into the lives, motivations, thoughts, feelings, and goals, of many types of people who participated in this great struggle for definition of what it is to be American, to be a citizen of the United States (which, after the war, noted Shelby Foote, a singular noun).
In my opinion, and knowing personally about Europeans' interest in our Civil War, this book belongs in the Canon of the Literature of Western can I say this? It isn't just because I'm interested in the same topic.
On a recent airline flight, I had the opportunity to spend about an hour explaining "To Kill a Mockingbird" to a young European woman who was assigned that book to read in a high school in Texas....she was in her senior year, with a father in the oil business.
Four months later, I received an e-mail, thanking me for that time, and she commented that her teacher was amazed that she had understood the book, and the issues (the enduring prejudice against blacks in the South long after "Reconstruction."
Why is it relevant? We think we "reconstructed" Europe after World War II--and she realized we hadn't. The same problems we have 140 years after the spring campaigns of 1864, we also see in Europe only 60 years after the dawning of D-Day. We have International Courts, the EU, common currencies, almost instantaneous communication worldwide, and what progress has been made?
A reading of the Killer Angels will stay with you, cause you to think, and demand that YOUR children study war. And so help us, the more who understand it, the better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IDGS on April 27 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Simply remarkable.

As a Canadian, born and bred, the American Civil War has always been something of a mystery to me. Call me ignorant, but I was often slightly confused who wore what uniforms, what exactly happened, and who that Robert E. Lee guy fought for.

Well, this certainly brought everything into focus. Michael Shaara takes you into the build-up and through the Battle of Gettysburg, the pivotal battle that decided the fate of the Southern uprising. Going lower to the ground, looking through the eyes of generals and commanders on both sides, you really get a first-hand account of what happened on those fateful few days leading up to the 4th of July when the Rebels officially retreated, pulling back from Gettysburg. That's not a spoiler - that's history, but even though you know it, you can't help but furiously turn pages until you hit the last.

Also, extremely helpful are diagrams and maps of the area and troops formations throughout the battle. Really makes it easier to see exactly what was going on. Even more interesting are the maps detailing what a certain side 'thought' the other side's formation was, in comparison with what was actually there.

All in all, I couldn't be happier with this read. I had no previous interest in the Civil War whatsoever, but I got my education seemingly from Chamberlin, Longstreet, and maybe even a thing or two from General Lee himself.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel is a fictional narrative of a battle that resembles the Battle of Gettysburg. Please remember this! This book is no more a historical account of the Battle of Gettysburg than Colleen McCullough's "First Man in Rome" is an account of the life of Marius and Sulla.
If you want to know about the Battle of Gettysburg, read Coddington's masterpiece, or try Pfanz's excellent books. Thomas Desjardin also wrote a very good book about the 20th Maine and the real Joshua L. Chamberlain. Desjardin puts the 20th Maine's intense skirmish with the 15th Alabama on Vincent's Spur into perspective.
Shaara unfortunately places considerable emphasis on the engagement because it makes for a dramatic story, not because it was of monumental historical significance. In their first real taste of battle, the ~450 brave boys from Maine outfought the battlehardened ~450 soldiers from Alabama using superior tactics and advantageous terrain. Had the 20th Maine fled however, the exhausted, thirsty, and unsupported 15th Alabama would have run into the virtually uninjured 83rd Pennsylvania. The significance of the 20th Maine's success was that these raw troops killed, wounded, or captured more than they themselves were killed, wounded, or captured. They did not, however, by their actions that day save the Union.
I must also take exception with Shaara's bizarre portrayal of Lee. Douglas Freeman's biography of Lee is the place to look for a historical account of Lee.
If you are looking for a fictional tale set during the Civil War, this may be the book for you. If, however, you want to know what happened at Gettysburg and why, look elsewhere.
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