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In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War (Civil War America)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  666 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Deserve[s] a place on every Civil War bookshelf.--"New York Times Book Review" "[Trulock] brings her subject alive and escorts him through a brilliant career. One can easily say that the definitive work on Joshua Chamberlain has now been done.--James Robertson, "Richmond Times-Dispatch""An example of history as it should be written. The author combines exhaustive research ...more
Paperback, 569 pages
Published September 3rd 2001 by University of North Carolina Press (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,210)
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Bob
May 27, 2013 Bob rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
If you have seen Gettysburg or otherwise are a Civil War buff, you know right away who Joshua Chamberlain is. A strong argument could be made that his (and the 20th Maine's) stand on Little Round Top on the second day at Gettysburg was the turning point in the battle, and perhaps the Civil War. {Actually stand is not accurate--out of ammunition, he led a bayonet charge of his troops that overwhelmed the opposing Confederate line.)

Trulock's biography fleshes out this unlikely hero--a college prof
...more
Steven Z.
Jun 18, 2014 Steven Z. rated it liked it
Recently my daughter earned a position a position at Bowdoin College and when I visited the campus I was struck by the statue of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, an individual who I was familiar with but had not read much about. A week before visiting the Bowdoin campus my wife and I celebrated our anniversary traveling up and down the Maine coast, and for those who know me, they could predict I would find a few books, and in this case they were two biographies of Chamberlain, one of which was Alice ...more
Jake
This was the first nonfiction work about Joshua L. Chamberlain that I read. I was pretty drunk on the Chamberlain kool-aid at this point. The biography didn't bring me back down off my high, but it got me closer.

As with several other reviews, I feel duty-bound to plug the book Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine . That is the book to read if you're are a fan of Chamberlain's now mythologized contribution to the Battle of Gettysburg. However, I'm not knocking this biography. I really enjoyed it, and r
...more
Daniel Ziegelbauer
Oct 22, 2015 Daniel Ziegelbauer rated it it was amazing
Definitely a book I found hard to put down and even more difficult to have end. Possibly the most definitive work on Joshua chamberlain if not the most informative and entertaining next to his own memoir. A definite must read for any civil war follower but more importantly for anyone who wishes to learn about a great human character and natural leader worthy to emulate as a design of providence itself.
Sarah
Oct 01, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this way back in my initial 'Chamberlain is God' phase, and it's probably the best biography of him to date. Easy to read and good, good stuff. What a great man...
Rich
Jul 15, 2012 Rich rated it liked it
Shelves: civil-war, biography
Interesting and filled with details, but more of a hagiography than a biography.
Tim Glinatsis
May 11, 2015 Tim Glinatsis rated it it was amazing
As far as biographies go, this is a must-read. If you're not one for biographies, but you appreciate civil war stuff, it's also a great pick.

Chamberlain is probably most well-known for his role at Little Round Top (as famously depicted in Killer Angels), but I had no idea at just how sophisticated and nuanced his character was. Nor did I know anything about his significant influence after the war - especially in Maine.

Trulock's homework, research and investigation is absolutely mind-boggling h
...more
Elizabeth
Jul 13, 2015 Elizabeth rated it liked it
A decent account of the battles at Gettysburg, but otherwise reads a little too 'fangirl.'
Mark Singer
Thorough, well-researched biography of a remarkable man. Chamberlain was a college professor from Bowdoin College turned soldier who fought for the Union during the American Civil War, and who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his vital role during the Battle of Gettysburg as the leader of the Twentieth Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment. His later career was just as impressive. I will admit that the reason I purchased this book was because of Chamberlains role in the Michael Shaara novel ...more
Ryan
Jul 07, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Just finished this one and loved it! The author obviously loves Chamberlain and wants to make him look as good as possible, but it's really difficult not to love Chamberlain. As great as he is at Gettysburg, he is just as brilliant-perhaps more so-at the Battle of Quaker Road. He is just a fascinating character to learn about-a true man of faith, courage, loyalty, and ambition tempered by a sincere desire to serve his country and his fellowman.
Charles Phillips
Oct 20, 2013 Charles Phillips rated it really liked it
Chamberlain was a marvel. A classical scholar who was a natural military commander. No West Point for Chamberlain, just literature and philosophy. He would seem supremely unsuited to have an instinct for battle and a leadership style that had men follow him into hell. He was a true citizen soldier. I might not have liked him as a politician, but I can only have the greatest respect for him and his activity in the American Civil WAr.
Mike
Jun 21, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Joshua Chamberlain was an amazing man. He is someone that is worthy of emulation. The led a full, and varied life. Not many people would be capable of following in his footsteps. Having a few men like him in government today, would go a long way in helping solve some of our most difficult problems.
John Machata
Jan 18, 2016 John Machata rated it really liked it
Solid offering regarding a great hero. Found it a balanced and enjoyable read. 4 1/2 stars.
Becky
Jul 16, 2014 Becky rated it liked it
I finally finished this. I wanted more background about his life when he wasn't fighting in the Civil War--both before and after. I felt bad when his relationship with his wife had problems. I'm so glad he lived his faith in God.
Rick
May 05, 2016 Rick rated it really liked it
I think her descriptions of battles scenes was confusing. Even battles I know well, I could hardly follow what she was writing.
Tom
Mar 11, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a citizen-soldier during the civil War is one of my heroes. I have to paintings of him in my office. He was an example of leadership used by the US Army in a leadership manual.
Sheila Myers
May 15, 2016 Sheila Myers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, civil-war
I became interested in learning more about Joshua Chamberlain after seeing the movie "Gettysburg". This is a very good book about his life before, during, and after the Civil War.
Lauren
Jun 16, 2009 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lauren by: Dad
Despite being a very thick book, the reading was smooth. The way it read was beautiful, really. It focuses mainly on his war years. I greatly enjoyed it.
Susan
Apr 24, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it
Well worth the time spent reading this rather large book. One of the overlooked heroes of the US Civil War, Chambers certainly is someone to admire.
Jessica Jewett
Mar 30, 2008 Jessica Jewett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A credible biography but Trulock feeds into the ivory tower complex. She does, however, cover the action and wounding at Petersburg very well.
Terry Earley
Mar 10, 2009 Terry Earley rated it really liked it
A remarkable biography of one of the heroes of the Civil War. This was Trulock's life work. Chamberlain was a true citizen soldier.
Karen
Jun 26, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very good; very interesting; I read this after reading the Civil War by Shelby Foote
Rodger
Mar 15, 2012 Rodger rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Isabel Gzm
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Sep 24, 2016
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Sep 17, 2016
Carrie
Carrie marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2016
Christopher
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Sep 10, 2016
Carol Ann
Carol Ann rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2016
Bill
Bill rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2016
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Tom Lawson rated it really liked it
Aug 29, 2016
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“We know not of the future, and cannot plan for it much. But we can hold our spirits and our bodies so pure and high, we may cherish such thoughts and such ideals, and dream such dreams of lofty purpose, that we can determine and know what manner of men we will be whenever the hour strikes that calls us to noble action....No man becomes suddenly different from his habit and cherished thought.
(Joshua L. Chamberlain”
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