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The Civil War Trilogy: Gods and Generals / The Killer Angels / The Last Full Measure (The Civil War Trilogy #1-3 )

4.5  ·  Rating Details ·  1,386 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Michael Shaara reinvented the war novel with his Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece of Gettysburg, The Killer Angels. Jeff Shaara continued his father’s legacy with a series of centuries-spanning New York Times bestsellers. This volume assembles three Civil War novels from America’s first family of military fiction: Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels, and The Last Full M ...more
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Published April 27th 1999 by Ballantine Books
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Misfit
Nov 05, 2008 Misfit rated it it was amazing
These three books should be required reading in school. Very eye opening to the horrors of war.

Gods and Generals - Fascinating portrayal of a sad time in US History, as told from the perspectives of the generals involved in these campaigns. I was most particularly moved by Lee and his torn loyalties to the US Army and his home state of Virginia, and most especially by the great Stonewall Jackson. I've come across the names in history classes (oh so long ago) and the occasional novel covering th
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Heather
I'm really not much in to the war history thing, all the little details of who surrounded who's flank, etc, BUT this was a very compelling fictionalization of the real life people leading the armies of both sides of the war.

Gods & Generals felt a little too appologetic for the Southern states. It was, afterall, really about slavery, no matter how much some might want to white-wash this as state's rights. Maybe it felt that way because the folks in charge of the Union's army were complete bu
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Wendy Rabe
Sep 15, 2009 Wendy Rabe rated it really liked it
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara gripped me from the moment I started it, another one of those books dangerous for a mother to start as it could lead to the neglect of children. (Fortunately, mine are old enough that at least serious accidents were ruled out during my stolen moments.) The portraits of the warriors are vivid. Robert E. Lee's honor and character are captured, along with the devotion of his men and even what might be seen as arrogance that led to Pickett's Charge. The heroism of ...more
Lee Ann
Loved all three, with Gods and Generals being the best of them.
Morgan
Sep 30, 2012 Morgan rated it really liked it
I didn't get a chance to read Gods and Generals, but I thoroughly enjoyed the other two books in the trilogy, especially "The Last Full Measure." I'm certainly not an expert, but these must certainly be among the best historical fictions of all time. It feels like an understatement calling them fiction even - given that although they were fictitiously written from the internal 1st person points-of-view of the minds of major generals such as Robert E. Lee, Ulysess S. Grant ($50 bill), and a few o ...more
Jon Wayne
Apr 10, 2016 Jon Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finest work I have read in many years

This book captivated my time from the instant I started reading. I especially liked how he was able to use personal thoughts and feelings of the characters of the war. Totally impartial to both sides, he made me look up to and respect the leaders of both sides. Many, many times I shed tears at the loss of one of the soldiers. I myself a veteran of 2 wars totally understands the characters of the books and for the first time in my like understood the true caus
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Shawn Cunningham
Apr 30, 2009 Shawn Cunningham rated it really liked it
Shelves: midway
Three individual books that tie in with each other closely. The authors bring individuality into a time when the country was in great turmoil and helps to show major events through the eyes of some of the closest players and greatest men.

All three of these books are a must-read for anyone interested in history or the Civil War. The authors write and you feel like you get to know the characters, only to realize how tragic the times were when these people whom you've followed so closely meet viol
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Jonathan
May 31, 2011 Jonathan marked it as to-read
http://mobile.cleveland.com/advcleve/...

'"The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara. This absorbing and pulse-quickening immersion into the four bloody days of Gettysburg won its author the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, George Pickett and J.E.B. Stewart wear gray, and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, John Buford, George Gordon Meade and Winfield Scott Hancock wear blue, each man playing out his fatal role. Their outsize characters, joined with others, drive the story,
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Chris Kaftan
Jul 13, 2007 Chris Kaftan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs
Shelves: history
Similar to what I wrote about the "Rising Tide."

This book is a triology written by the father-son team of Michael (father) and Jeff (son) Shaara.

Michael wrote "The Killer Angels" in 1974, and his son followed with "Gods and Generals" (prequel) and "The Last Full Measure" as a sequel to Killer Angels. All books cover the entire years of the Civil War from 1858 to 1865.

Focuses on main characters and their perspectives on war and life and uses descriptive terms to describe what battle really sou
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Erin Fisher
Apr 10, 2008 Erin Fisher rated it it was amazing
I decided to read this trilogy after reading Seabiscuit since that author was inspired by The Killer Angels and the historic novel style. I learned so much about the civil war from this series and found the telling very entertaining. The novels are historically accurate but the converstaions in the books are fictional. From reading you are able to get a sense of the personalities and beliefs of some of the leading figures in the war, on both sides. The telling is from the point of view of certia ...more
Hannah Thomas
Jun 11, 2011 Hannah Thomas rated it it was amazing
This is an AWESOME trilogy of the civil war and how went. Both sides tactics and who commanded what. My favorite is 'The Killer Angels' because the novel is based on the Battle of Gettysburg. The Last Full Measure is the aftermath battles of Gettysburg, with lovely endings that will make you shed tears, and 'Gods and Generals' is based on the battles before the Battle of Gettysburg. If you are a history fanatic and just dying to learn more, read these novels!
Joseph Howard
Jul 12, 2008 Joseph Howard rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in history/military history
Absolute perfection! Shaara takes these historical features we've all learned about in school...and turns them into the real people they were! The chapters follow a different person each time, and you often find yourself sympathizing with "the other side". If you can't afford to lose sleep, this trilogy isn't for you! I could hardly put each book down, and when I completed the last sentance of the last book, I honestly felt sad because it was over.
Robert
Jun 01, 2008 Robert rated it really liked it
I read first The Killer Angels (the first book written by father), then Gods and Generals and Full Measure - written by son. Great books, and really the only historical novels I've read. Currently reading same author's writing on the revolution. Killer Angels was great, I picture more about the war from that book than I did from civil war text books.
Linda
May 30, 2008 Linda rated it did not like it
I stumbled reading this novel. I am just not aware of the history lesson during th Civil War. I like reading historical fiction. Perhaps the way the chapters were ordered gave me cause to be confused. I am going on to read the KILLER ANGELS which is by his father and a Pulizer Prize winning novel.
Laura
Aug 15, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
I would give it 4.5 stars if I could. I wish I had read this trilogy before I visited Gettysburg. I learned and gained so much from this trilogy. The only reason it wasn't a complete 5, was because the last novel was just too long. But maybe that's not fair, since it was probably just me wishing the war would end...
Maureen
Jul 28, 2012 Maureen rated it really liked it
I finished Gods and Generals. This may be the first book on the Civil War that I have read. From this account, it is amazing that the North won the war with the ineptitude of the North's generals. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara is excellent! I finally finished The Last Full Measure and was happy that Lee surrendered. This was not as good as the other two books.
Jill
Jan 04, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: civil-war
The movie "Gettysburg" was based on "The Killer Angels," which was the first book written by Jeff Shaara's father, Michael Shaara. "Gods and Generals" also has its own movie. Both star Jeff Daniels. Great books! I recommend watching the movies first; it will give you visuals for the books, which at times are full of battle details. A wonderful look at the Civil war battlefield!
Becky
May 09, 2011 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love-it
Loved every one of these books. I did find Jeff to be a better writer than his father. These books started my love for history. For the first time, after reading them, history became about people and not just dates on a page. I appreciated what they were able to do for my perspective. It is unfortunate that I never had a real history teacher.
Ken Elser
Jun 15, 2008 Ken Elser rated it it was amazing
I've never been much of a historical fiction reader, but this series grabs you and takes you in, elaborating on the legendary characters of the Civil War (Grant, Lee, Chamberlein, Jackson, etc.) and you learn an unbelievable amount from it. Highly recommended!
Susan Kerr
Aug 10, 2012 Susan Kerr rated it it was amazing
I can't say any more than those before me! I was fascinated with the strategy and ingenuity displayed in this war. I cannot imagine hand to hand combat. Brother against brother and families torn by loyalties to their homeland. It is hard to imagine.
Liz
Oct 26, 2007 Liz rated it really liked it
Well, I had to read this for school, but I remember this was a unit I rather liked. The Civil War fascinates me, and these are wonderful vivid books describing the period. A must for anyone that likes history.
Judidietrich
If you are interested in the Civil War, these three books are excellent. They read like novels, but have all the real Generals from the Civil War, and the Battles. Definitely read them in order. They are some of the best I've read.
Tiff
Apr 28, 2008 Tiff rated it it was amazing
I have read the first two of these books and they are really great. They are very historically accurate depictions of the battle of Gettysburg and such. It is historical fiction so you learn facts but get it in the form of a novel with dialogue and such.
Mary Etta
These were the books I recommended for the Civil War. I heard Jeff Shaara at a library conference the day before publication of God's and Generals. He is the son of Michael Shaara, author of The Killer Angels.
Vic
Jan 03, 2015 Vic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply a great read for a history buff!

The fictional development of the major players of the civil war was excellent. Their personal relationships before, during and after the war outstanding. Surprisingly, on both sides, a belief that the will of God would prevail.
Grreenpailmom
Sep 10, 2010 Grreenpailmom rated it it was amazing
This series is a much more interesting way to learn history than textbooks. I doubted I would like to read it, but when I finally got around to opening it and starting to read, it caught my attention and I finished the first one quickly.
Andrea
Feb 01, 2008 Andrea rated it it was amazing
i love reading things about the civil war. 'killer angels' was my favorite, but the other two are good as well. it's historical fiction, so you get an easier read while still catching much of the historical fact.
Becca
Apr 24, 2008 Becca rated it it was amazing
Oh be still my beating heart, I LOVE these books. I highly recommend starting with the second, The Killer Angels, which was written first. The masterful writing of Michael Shaara is unmatched by his son, but Gods and Generals and the Last Full Measure are also well worth reading.
Katie
Nov 28, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing
I loved this trilogy. Now they are my favorite books I've read. The authors really let you know who these people are and what life was like. I am sad I am done with them.
Brianne
Jul 07, 2008 Brianne rated it it was amazing
Loved them all! The last book gets kind of long-winded, but I loved the history and perspectives and the writing in all the books!
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Michael Shaara was an American writer of science fiction, sports fiction, and historical fiction. He was born to Italian immigrant parents (the family name was originally spelled Sciarra, which in Italian is pronounced the same way) in Jersey City, New Jersey, graduated from Rutgers University in 1951, and served as a sergeant in the 82nd Airborne division prior to the Korean War.
Before Shaara beg
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More about Michael 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)
  • The Last Full Measure (The Civil War Trilogy, #3)

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“The world around him grew silent; there was something in the air. The odor of dead meat came down on the wind, drifting through the trees. Soft and sour, the smell of distant death.” 1 likes
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