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The Last Full Measure (The Civil War Trilogy #3)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  12,555 Ratings  ·  293 Reviews
This rousing sequel to The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals brings the legendary father-son trilogy to its stunning conclusion with a thought-provoking account of the last two years of the Civil War. The Chicago Tribune has called this novel riveting, vivid and brilliantly depicted.
Hardcover, 612 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Perfection Learning (first published December 12th 1991)
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Don Nelson
Apr 30, 2011 Don Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of the three books Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure - The Last Full Measure was, for me, the most painful.
In this book the reader is introduced to Ulysses S. Grant and discovers the metal of the man. General Robert E. Lee continues to be the stalwart leader of the southern army. The reader comes to understand the passion of these men as well as the Union commander Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain who came away from Gettysburg a hero. Chamberlain is the only one of these
Pickle Farmer
This is how the majority of the characters talk in this book: "There are.... a lot...... of periods...... in between..... words...."

I read the first 150-200 pages or so of this with such gusto! It wasn't as good as "The Killer Angels," obviously, but it was perfectly readable and exciting. Then things got sluggish. Chapter after chapter where absolutely nothing of importance or interest happenned. A battle was fought. Generals muse on death and destruction. Chamberlain is non-existent; there is
Jul 23, 2012 Mom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I still enjoyed the historical information but I did not care for his writing style--it lacks the flair for writing in comparison to his father's book. He overuses phrases of his own making that often confuse the reader left not knowing who he is talking about or who is doing the talking. Sometimes the pace flows and keeps the reader interested, and other times it lags on and on to the point of frustration. He tries to describe the feelings of the characters when he couldn't possibly know what w ...more
Oct 09, 2012 Pearl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Last Full Measure" is the final book in the Civil War trilogy by the Shaaras. Michael Shaara, the father, started it all when he wrote wrote the Pulitzer-Prize winning "The Killer Angels" about the battle at Gettysburg. He passed away before he could write more. His son Jeff then wrote about events leading up to Gettysburg and next what followed after Gettysburg. Is "The Last Full Measure" as good as "The Killer Angels"? Not quite, but perhaps that's not even a fair question.

"The Killer Ang
The Last Full Measure takes its title from words in Lincoln’ indescribable Gettysburg Address:
“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died i
Jun 07, 2017 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread
Enjoyed rereading this one to prepare for our trip to Virginia and Washington DC in October
Dec 16, 2009 Jackson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This work suffers from the same flaws as God and Generals. Shaara simply fails to reproduce the genius of his father. The only book in this trilogy that needs to be read is Michael Shaara's original "The Killer Angels."
Benjamin Thomas
Picking up shortly after the events of Gettysburg depicted in The Killer Angels, this novel takes us all the way through the rest of the Civil War, concentrating mostly on the battles in the East, the grand struggle between the newly promoted and positioned US Grant and the steady Robert E. Lee. Indeed, most of the book alters perspectives between the two leaders as well as presenting the viewpoint of Joshua Chamberlain, unlikely hero of Gettysburg and a man who had a Forest Gump-like ability to ...more
Jul 23, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, audiobooks
This is a more than satisfying conclusion to the Shaara family Civil War Trilogy that chronologically begins with Jeff's "Gods and Generals", and continued with his late father Michael's masterful account of Gettysburg in the "Killer Angels". While the previous books focused on four narrators each, this third book by Jeff Shaara drops the count down to three, and for the most part two. If there is a flaw to this book, it is that we are not given enough of the fascinating and admirable Joshua Cha ...more
Peter Spence
Feb 13, 2016 Peter Spence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The predecessor of this book (The Killer Angels) far surpasses The Last Full Measure in most ways - tightness of storyline, style, prose, illustration and delivery of key facts - but, nevertheless, I enjoyed Jeff Shaara's game attempt to conclude the Civil War story in his father's image.
As a "foreigner", I don't have the inculcated knowledge of the War that US students undoubtedly absorb from their earliest school years, so I found the book very helpful in establishing the timeline of events, a
Bob Matter
Jan 01, 2017 Bob Matter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read about half of this book, then set it down to read something else, and then another something else, and then another, etc. The first half was interesting, and I had read the first two books of the trilogy ("Killer Angels" and "Gods and Generals"), so I wanted to finish it. Three years later, I have. And am I glad I did. The last third or so of the book was a detailed account of the last weeks and days of the Army of the Potomac (Grant) vs. the Army of Virginia (Robert E. Lee). Shaara bring ...more
Dec 30, 2009 Rafe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-war
I loved Michael Shaara's book about Gettysburg, The Killer Angels, and so it was with a lot of anticipation (and a bit of anxiety) that I started reading his son Jeff's companion volumes. Overall, I don't like them. I wish I did. I want to, very much. But I keep finding them overwritten, too much telling, not enough showing, and sometimes so sprawling and incoherent that I, someone who has studied the Civil War in detail and knows a fair amount about it, have trouble keeping track of who is doin ...more
Just arrived from USA trough BM.

Even if I haven't read his father's book The Killer Angels, I was able to follow this magnificent epic based on the American Civil War.

General Lee's surrender to General Grant was very touching and very well described by the author.

His American Revolutionary War (1770-1783) series is also memorable and unforgettable.

Daniel Ligon
Mar 19, 2016 Daniel Ligon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fitting conclusion to an excellent Civil War trilogy. While Jeff Shaara isn't quite as good a writer as his father Michael ("Killer Angels"), he still does a great job of capturing the look and feel of the scenes and characters. Shaara's portrayal of General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is particularly compelling. Few moments in American history are as tragic or as poignant as the surrender at Appomattox Court House and the events leading up to it, and Shaara tells that story masterfully. Great ...more
Sep 05, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like his father before him with Killer Angels, Jeff Shaara weaves a masterful portrait focusing on Lee, Grant and Chamberlain in the closing days of the war. The battles are detailed and precise; the men are real and fascinating. Highly recommended for both civil war buffs & historical fiction fans.
Jan 01, 2017 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, historical
Interesting account of the leaders during the second half of the American Civil War. A little dry, but I enjoyed it, both from the presentation of the characters and the historical information. Recommended.
In 1976 Michael Shaara wrote The Killer Angels (1976). His son, Jeff, became an equally adept military novelist, adding two additional Civil War novels to complete the Civil War Trilogy: Gods and Generals (1996)—“first” in the Trilogy—and The Last Full Measure (1998). Jeff Shaara has also written several other novels of the Civil War, as well as a number of WWII histories. His style is different from his father’s: the story is told more from the viewpoint of an outside observer, less from the in ...more
Jonathan Lu
Jun 03, 2012 Jonathan Lu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A worthy conclusion to the shaara trilogy that for the first time focuses on the persona of Grant and his stature compared to the other (primarily confederate) generals. What separates 2 armies between each other on the battlefield is truly the men leading them, with generals as the heroes celebrated throughout time. Very interesting as in this book having been written in 1998 is the first to address the changing nature of war itself - with the US civil war as really the first "modern" one that ...more
Jun 01, 2017 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The third of the Trilogy of the American Civil War written by Michael and son Jeff Shaara. Strangely enough the series started with book 2, written by Michael, about the Gettysburg Campaign "The Killer Angels". Brilliant. The 2nd book was the prequel to "Killer Angels" written by Jeff Shaara after his father passed away. This was Gods and Generals and covers the period up to the invasion of the north. No spoilers. This is the last of the series that deals with the epic struggle of Grant and Lee' ...more
Mary Jo
Jun 27, 2017 Mary Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am reading these books out of order, and I read Killer Angels first, then this one. Both are excellent. I love the format of these books, more like reading a work of fiction but learning so much history at the same time. This book helped bring to life General Lee, General Grant, and so many other characters. I have many books on my wish list about the Civil War now, but first I need to read the first book of this trilogy, Gods and Generals.
Brandy Smith
Nov 04, 2016 Brandy Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed all three books in the series. This one definitely took me the longest to read but it was worth it. I was introduced to a part of the war that I wasn't as well versed on compared to other battles and time frames.
Mrs. Porter
Jun 14, 2017 Mrs. Porter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread this as it had been many years. Forgot how interminable the battles in the Wilderness were. The Killer Angels remains my favorite from this trilogy.
Jul 12, 2017 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent series. It is not light reading, but definitely an enjoyable series to read.
Jan 11, 2015 Kurt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Those of you who follow me know that I am always searching for the definitive war novel. In that search, it has been my privilege to read Killer Angels, a book written by Michael Shaara about the events at Gettysburg. Because I enjoyed this book, and the movie made about those events, I was attracted to read The Last Full Measure which is written by the son of the now-deceased author of Killer Angels. Ironically, this was a novel presented to me as a Christmas present by one of my English studen ...more
Steven Peterson
Jan 08, 2010 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jeff Shaara's "The Last Full Measure" completes a Civil War trilogy. The first volume, "The Killer Angels," was authored by Shaara's father and focused on the battle of Gettysburg. After his death, the second volume, "Gods and Generals," explored the evolution of the Civil War up until the epochal struggle at Gettysburg (authored by Jeff Shaara).

This book looks at the final years of the Civil War, after the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. As is usual with a Shaara war novel, several character
Jan 08, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You read the stories of war to understand men, the hubris of those whose ego surpasses reason, the failings of imagination, the lessons for the future. Gen. Chamberlain once said "War is for the participants a test of character; it makes bad men worse and good men better." But for civilians in a democracy it is not soldiers who take us to war, but us who through action or lack of any send them to war...and as we are the ones responsible we should have a clear concept of war and its horrors which ...more
Jun 07, 2016 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! The scope of this book is incredible.

"The Last Full Measure" takes the reader from the aftermath of the battle of Gettysburg right up to Appomatox Court House and Lee's surrender to General Grant. Like "The Killer Angels", Jeff Shaara writes this book from several points of view, alternating between the Union and Southern generals. We learn about the major battles according to Longstreet, Lee, Chamberlain (on the Northern side), and Grant. There are a few glimpses of Lincoln and his intera
Roger King
Dec 01, 2016 Roger King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are thousands of Civil War books, thick and thin, whole libraries, colleges of researching professorships, on every day, every battle, every campaign, and every personality--not a lot of uncovered ground. We all know how the war ended up and how it got there, but Jeff Shaara turns Grant's grinding and ultimately successful eastern campaign into a page turning "historical thriller", engorging the personalities top to bottom as they march/charge/retreat through the fog of war (and for tens o ...more
Mar 10, 2012 Jacob rated it it was ok
This is the sequel to "The Killer Angels" by Jeff Shaara's father, Michael Shaara. I have tried to read Jeff Shaara's work before with the "Rise to Rebellion", "Gods and Generals" and "The Rising Tide", failing to finish any of them. I forced myself to slog through this one simply because I have a renewed interest in the Civil War and wanted to cap off "The Killer Angels". I think I have finally learned my lesson. Whereas Michael Shaara wrote a story that I believed was being told by the partici ...more
The last book of the Shaara father/son team's "Civil War trilogy," "The Last Full Measure" covers events from the aftermath of Gettysburg to Appomattox and focuses on three main characters: Robert E. Lee, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, and Ulysses S. Grant.

While Jeff Shaara isn't his father, he does a good job portraying and, to some extent, humanizing these legendary historical figures. His descriptions of the battle scenes, especially Chamberlain's, are just as tense and chaotic as a real Civil
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Jeff Shaara, a descendant of Italian immigrants, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey ("Shaara" was originally spelled "Sciarra"). He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Criminology. From age 16, Jeff operated a rare coin business, first out of his home, then in a retail store. After moving to Tampa, Jeff became one of the most widely know ...more
More about Jeff Shaara...

Other Books in the Series

The Civil War Trilogy (3 books)
  • Gods and Generals (The Civil War Trilogy, #1)
  • The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2)

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“world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion …” 2 likes
“Richmond serves one purpose. Lee must defend it. If we threaten the city, he will have to confront us. Lee will soon learn … we are not going away. If the newspapers and all those people in Washington must hear that, fine, I will write it down, send a letter to Stanton. You can deliver it yourself, read it to him, to all of them, make them understand what we are going to do. If it takes all summer … if it takes all year … it is only a matter of time before General Lee must face the consequences.” 1 likes
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