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A review of michael shaaras novel the killer angels

It largely shaped many facets about the kind of country we have today: The relationship between blacks and whites, the States and the Federal Government, and the various regions of the country. Unfortunately, my understanding of the Civil War is very general. This review is about the book and not the man. All I am going to say about Mr.

Shaara is that he can write his ass off.


The battle turned the sleepy Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg into a charnel house and marked the beginning of the end for the Confederates. The timing of this review is no accident. Shaara writes battle scenes with such force and tension that you will get chills. But what makes this book so riveting is that the actual fighting is almost incidental to the story. Men of honor, men of contradictions, good and evil men, strong and weak men, men fighting their brothers-in-arms and their brothers-by-blood.

Killer Angels Book Review

Men like Robert E. The Union won the battle. But the fighting was fierce, the stakes were high, and the outcome was never certain. Here are a few of my favorite insights: On belief in causes: He had grown up believing in America and the individual and it was a stronger faith than his faith in God. This was a land where no man had to bow.


In this place at last a man could stand up free of the past, free of tradition and blood ties and the curse of royalty and become what he wished to become.

This was the first place on earth where the man mattered more than the state.

True freedom had begun here and it would spread eventually all over the earth. But it had begun here. The fact of slavery upon this incredibly beautiful new clean earth was appalling, but more even than that was the horror of old Europe, the curse of nobility, which the South was transplanting to new soil.

They were forming a new aristocracy, a new breed of glittering men, and Chamberlain had come to crush it. The man was really very black. Chamberlain felt an oddness, a crawly hesitation, not wanting to touch him. He shook his head, amazed at himself.

The Killer Angels

But he could not tell whether it was truly dust or only a natural sheen of light on hair above black skin. But he felt it again: Fat lips, brute jaw, red-veined eyeballs. He had not expected this feeling. He had not even known this feeling was there.

The more I think on it the more it horrifies me. How can they look in the eyes of a man and make a slave of him and then quote the Bible? But to be a good officer you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love.

This is…a very hard thing to do.

Review of: The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara

No other profession requires it. That is one reason why there are so very few good officers. Although there are many good men.