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Gods and Generals

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Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara
Paperback $18.00
May 13, 1997 | ISBN 9780345409577

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  • May 13, 1997 | ISBN 9780345409577

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  • Apr 29, 1998 | ISBN 9780345422477

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  • May 28, 1996 | ISBN 9780345404923

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“Powerful . . . Though the story of the Civil War has been told many times, this is the rare version that conveys what it must have felt like.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“Compelling . . . a work of vivid drama and skill.”—The Dallas Morning News

“[Jeff] Shaara’s beautifully sensitive novel delves deeply in the empathetic realm of psycho-history, where enemies do not exist—just mortal men forced to make crucial decisions and survive on the same battlefield.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Historical detail and depth of character carry the book, which examines the viewpoints and vulnerabilities of one of the most fascinating collections of military minds ever assembled on a single battlefront.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Shaara has created human beings of the myths and cold facts.”—St. Petersburg Times

Author Essay

You may have seen Jeff Shaara on CBS Sunday Morning, which aired on July 5, 1998.  He toured the Gettysburg battlefields with a correspondent from CBS. Well, I was lucky enough to receive my own personal guided tour of Gettysburg when we traveled there with Jeff two years ago over the 4th of July weekend.

When we arrived in Gettysburg, Jeff drove us directly to the the battlefields.  I had read GODS AND GENERALS before traveling to Gettysburg, so it was a real thrill to see, in person, these places that Jeff had written about in his book.  In addition to pointing out the historical significance of these spots, he also told us some great personal stories about how he came to know these battlefields so well.  He started going to Gettysburg as a small boy.  His dad, Michael Shaara, would load up the car and drive the whole family to Gettysburg for vacations.  They would spend hours walking around these historic hills, and his dad new every square inch by heart.  Jeff said that his father would tell these fascinating tales about the characters involved in Gettysburg battles, and this is how Jeff’s love for history — and the people behind the history — was born.

When Jeff grew up, he returned to Gettysburg to help his father do research for THE KILLER ANGELS — a book that would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in the 1970s.  Jeff came to love this part of our country because of the many stories surrounding it.  It was on these battlefields that our future was forged.  And it is one of the few places that still exists where time has stood still — the landmarks are undisturbed. Gettysburg is truly a national treasure.

I was very fortunate to have Jeff Shaara as a personal guide and to hear some of the stories that his father had passed on to him.  But you can discover many of these same stories by reading the Civil War Trilogy: GODS AND GENERALS, THE KILLER ANGELS, and THE LAST FULL MEASURE.  Then, go to Gettysburg and see where all of these great stories actually took place.  I promise you it will be an unforgettable experience!

— Jennifer Richards
Ballantine Books Publicity

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