Reader Ù The Killer Angels ↠ 345 pages

Reader å The Killer Angels ☆ Michael Shaara

In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history two armies fought for two dreams One dreamed of freedom the other of a way of life Far than rifles and bullets “Once Chamberlain had a speech memorized from Shakespeare and gave it proudly the old man listening but not looking and Chamberlain remembered it still ‘What a piece of work is manin action how like an angel’ And the old man grinning had scratched his head and then said stiffly ‘Well boy if he’s an angel he’s a murderin’ angel’” Michael Shaara The Killer AngelsWhen it was first published Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels landed with a thud Even when it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1975 it did not gain a wide following When Shaara passed away in 1988 he did so believing his novel to have underachieved as far as Pulitzer Prize winners can ever be so considered Then in 1993 the film version Gettysburg was released in theaters Though it did not prove a runaway box office hit it did enough to lift The Killer Angels onto the bestseller lists According to Shaara’s son Jeff who can start a bank with the books he’s sold by aping his father’s distinctive techniues The Killer Angels was initially greeted with skepticism due to its release at the tail end of the Vietnam War Maybe or maybe not The world after all is filled with great books that never found wide audiences Still there is some validity in the point The Killer Angels is decidedly old fashioned It has none of the cynicism or darkness of modern war novels I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is a pro war book but it embraces martial virtues with both its arms In the world of The Killer Angels when the characters aren’t thinking about duty loyalty and honor they are giving speeches about it The Killer Angels begins on the eve of the Civil War battle of Gettysburg and takes us through each of the three bloody days as the Union and Confederacy clashed in the fields and hills around a small Pennsylvania crossroads village In order to tell this story Shaara employs viewpoint chapters in which the battle unfolds through the eyes of a limited number of characters The characters are the Confederate scout Harrison; Confederate generals Robert E Lee James Longstreet and Lewis Armistead; the British observer Fremantle; Union General John Buford; and Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine whose posthumous reputation has spiked drastically because of this Though the writing is in the third person each of the viewpoint chapters sticks to the thoughts feelings and actions of the chosen character This leads to the kind of telescoping that is familiar to anyone who has read A Song of Ice and Fire While we are ostensibly being treated to epic events it sometimes feels like we’re viewing it through a keyhole By focusing so rigidly on a handful of participants you get a great sense of intimacy at a loss of some of the scope It’s impossible to talk about The Killer Angels without mentioning Shaara’s amazing style He has an incredible eye for detail the weather the terrain the colors the sounds He wraps you in these details until you feel like you’re present on the field You feel like you could take this book to Gettysburg and find your way around At times he slips easily into a hypnotic stream of consciousness punctuated by the use of the present tense interior monologues and his trademarked sentence fragments Though if we’re being technical I think Jeff Shaara has the trademark now Shaara’s genius is in his characterizations He brings Buford and Chamberlain and the others to life by embodying them by inhabiting their minds There is Lee suddenly very old suffering from heart disease struggling with the loss of Jackson unable to control his subordinates or get them to see his vision He is courtly saintly pervaded by an unfortunate fatalism he wraps in a vague theology “It’s in God’s hands now” he intones repeatedly There is Chamberlain a professor of rhetoric uestioning everything his thoughts his actions a true believer in the cause of freedom and Union though he is constantly trying to define those things And then there is Armistead who gets only one chapter during Pickett’s Charge but remains perhaps the most powerful creation a doomed romantic mourning his broken friendship with Union General Winfield Hancock In a novel short of female characters the remembered bonds between Hancock and Armistead provide the love story The best testament to the power of Shaara’s vision is that his fictionalized conception of these real life figures has gained such widespread traction For instance Shaara used Longstreet’s memoirs in his research; as such Longstreet arises as something of a prophet a man who can see the trenches of World War I just over the horizon who believes that Lee’s aggressiveness will destroy the Confederacy While effective it is worth noting that Shaara’s concept of these men is not necessarily shared by all historians The Killer Angels is not a graphic or gratuitous book There are no curse words Despite the presence of thousands of men there is nary a dirty thought in the air The violence is rather tame at least relatively speaking Yet Shaara still manages to deliver marvelous battle scenes especially a memorable accounting of Pickett’s failed assault on the Union center Garnett’s boys had reached the road They were slowing taking down rails Musket fire was beginning to reach them The great noise increased beating of wings in the air More dead men a long neat line of dead like a shattered fence And now the canister oh God Armistead shuddered millions of metal balls whirring through the air like startled uail murderous uail and now for the first time there was screaming very bad sounds to hear He began to move past wounded struggling to the rear men falling out to help heard the sergeants ordering the men back into line saw gray faces as he passed eyes sick with fear but the line moved on The Killer Angels does have its share of flaws though they are slight The cast of characters for one is a bit imbalanced On the Confederate side Longstreet is a Corps commander while Lee is in charge of the whole Army Meanwhile on the Union side Buford is in charge of a cavalry division and disappears after the first day Chamberlain commands only a regiment This means you get a great sense of the Confederate strategy while the Union strategy is reduced to slandering General George Meade who despite Shaara’s odd intransigence was than capable Then there is the handling of slavery Shaara acknowledges – or has his characters acknowledge – slavery as the root cause of the war on several occasions He even has Longstreet admitting this But Shaara also includes an interaction between Chamberlain and a runaway slave that I found a bit underdeveloped In the scene Chamberlain despite his high ideals finds himself revolted by the runaway who is described in animal like terms The idea of exploring racism among Northern characters is not necessarily bad; if given the proper space it might even have been meaningful Unfortunately Shaara never really expounds on the notion leaving us with the disconcerting fact that Chamberlain is the only one in the book who is remotely racist I feel like the inclusion of this reuires an obverse scene maybe one in which Lee oversees his men kidnapping and re enslaving the unfortunate blacks who tarried in the invasion path Which is a thing that actually happened These are really minor critiues And yes I understand this is a novel with a very specific storyline Still it bears mentioning if only because this is a very good piece of historical fiction and when historical fiction is really really good you sometimes start to forget it’s fiction and believe its historical But while heavily researched with the inclusion of maps than you get in typical history volume it is when all is said and done a product of imagination The Killer Angels deserves its place in the pantheon of great American war novels It is a fascinating study in command so much so that it is often recommended to military officers in training More than that it is a touching exploration of the bonds and friendships between men and the sentimental notion that these relationships mean than nations It is no surprise that Shaara chose the famous lines from EM Forster’s essay What I believe as his epigraph “I hate the idea of causes” Forster wrote “And if I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend I hope I should have the guts to betray my country”

Ebook The Killer Angels

The Killer AngelsPled beauty were also the casualties of war The Killer Angels is uniue sweeping unforgettable a dramatic re creation of The Killer eBook #184 the battleground for America's desti I am fairly sure that I read this book like 25 years ago as well It is so memorable as we see the events unfold through a series of perspectives from major actors Lee Chamberlain Buford LongstreetIt is a masterful evocation of this crucial battle in which the Civil War was or less decided even if it played out over the following two years Very moving and realistic it is probably the next best thing to going to Gettysburg in person a voyage I definitely need to make after the corona madness

Michael Shaara ☆ The Killer Angels Pdf

Reader Ù The Killer Angels ↠ 345 pages Ê ➻ [Download] ➸ The Killer Angels By Michael Shaara ➺ – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history two armies fought for two dreams One dreamed of freedom the other of a way of life Far than rifles and bullets weWere carried into battle There were memories There were promises There was love And far than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields Shattered futures forgotten innocence and crip Visceral That’s the best word I can use to describe The Killer Angels both in the sense of instinctive or elemental emotions and in the sense of internal organs and guts Because both are relevant when you’re talking about a book that captures what I imagine the experience of war to be like in a way that very few other books I’ve ever read hasThe big caveat there of course is the “I imagine” part—I’ve never been a soldier have never fired anything other than a BB gun though in my callous youth I did bring to a premature conclusion the life of than one recalcitrant soda can and have absolutely no idea what it’s like to kill another human or have another human try to kill me; Jebus willing I never will So it’s possible that war is nothing like this But Shaara’s lean but descriptive prose and shifting POVs offer a perspective that feels so authentic that I found myself occasionally forgetting that this is a novel rather than a stitching together of first hand narratives; one suspects Mr Shaara did his homework There’s a reason this book is a classic of its genre and it’s simultaneously an enlightening and painful readThe American Civil War is if not uniue in the history of warfare certainly a particularly unusual conflict especially when you consider the officers leading the troops on both sides of the fight Many had served together previously in the United States army—and for a not inconsiderable period of time—which meant that you had colleagues and in some cases good friends whose job it was to go out and try to kill each other in the name of the geography into which they happened to have been born putting aside their own personal feelings about the reasons for the war Side note I have a few colleagues I’d be totally fine pointing the business end of my bayonet at but it’s unlikely that I would actually be able to eviscerate them if it came to that though I’d happily pour salt in their coffeeShaara is not concerned with trying to explain the reasons for the Civil War nor in making a case for whether those reasons were good ones or not; his goal is to capture the experience of the fight He does so masterfully; I felt completely immersed in the very troubling experience of preparing to fight from the oddly relaxed downtime between battles to the gut liuidating moments before the charge This is one of those books that will sit with me for a while and one that reminds me that even when justified—and I have a much higher threshold for justification than most rulerscountries over the course of human history—war is an awful horrific terrible thing that indelibly transforms the lives of all those involved whether directly engaged in the battle the family members of those combatants or the civilians whose homes and towns are destroyed in the processI think I may need a little Dr Seuss as a palate cleanser before jumping into anything else this heavyThanks to Allie for the buddy read