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

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,100 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
In the Pulitzer prize–winning classic The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara created the finest Civil War novel of our time. In the bestselling Gods and Generals, Shaara’s son, Jeff, brilliantly sustained his father’s vision, telling the epic story of the events culminating in the Battle of Gettysburg. Now, Jeff Shaara brings this legendary father-son trilogy to its stunning co ...more
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published May 19th 1998 by Ballantine Books (first published December 12th 1991)
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War and Peace by Leo TolstoyThe Iliad by HomerThe Killer Angels by Michael ShaaraAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueHenry V by William Shakespeare
Major Battles in History and Fiction
83rd out of 204 books — 58 voters
Master and Commander by Patrick O'BrianTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Good Soldier by Ford Madox FordThe French Lieutenant's Woman by John FowlesThe Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen
Military Men
40th out of 155 books — 47 voters

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Community Reviews

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Don Nelson
May 04, 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
Jan 14, 2009 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 02, 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
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
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."
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
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.

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
Matthew Hodge
Feb 20, 2015 Matthew Hodge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, hard-copy
Jeff Shaara writes a sequel for his father's book The Killer Angels thus providing a unique trilogy that covers the entire American Civil War.

Each of the books is unique in what it does. Gods and Generals showed beautifully the rise of the Confederacy as an idea that men debated on political floors to an issue that made them take up arms against one another.

The middle book, The Killer Angels, just covering the four days around the Battle of Gettysburg was like a perfect microcosm of the war, usi
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
Jan 10, 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
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
Kevin Considine
Nov 08, 2014 Kevin Considine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last of the Civil War Trilogy by Michael and Jeff Shaara. Not as good as the previous two books simply because the War evolved into a defensive grind after Gettysburg, with Grant taking command of the Union Army and just wearing down Lee's and the other Confederate armies. Still a great read as part of the overall trilogy. Very sad but interesting how the battles evolved during the war. The battles weren't as excitinig but many more men were killed after Gettysburg at The Wilderness, Spotsyl ...more
Oct 31, 2015 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book for the second time. Shaara's direct style and comprehensive knowledge of the Civil War makes for compelling reading. The book begins with Lincoln greeting his new commanding general, US Grant, then takes the reader through major battles - The Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Spotsylvania and Petersburg - ending, of course, with Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. Shaara tells a lot of the story through dialogue between the generals and their subordinates, alternating fr ...more
Oct 02, 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.
Nov 15, 2015 Les rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An account of the last days of the American Civil War and the ultimately vain attempt of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to escape the clutches of U S Grant's vastly numerically superior Union forces. The story is told largely through the eyes of the three main characters of Lee, Grant and Joshua Chamberlain. The book captures the confusion of the battles fought in the Wilderness area, the near stagnation of the siege of Petersburg and the final surrender at Appomattox. I'm not sure that Jeff Sh ...more
Kathy Stone
Jan 10, 2014 Kathy Stone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-the-library
I really enjoyed reading about the last 18 months of the Civil War in Northern Virginia. Yes, the Confederate Army was starving and that was probably the biggest contributing factor to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in April 1865, but the book points out something interesting that is not explained in Schools. The Southern States fought the war over "states rights", but that is a dividing issue rather than a unifying issue. Jefferson Davis did not have power to force the Confederate State ...more
Jeff Shaara is truly a master at depicting the intricacies of war. In The Last Full Measure, he takes on the final battles of the Civil War, and what surely must be going through the heads of the most notable military figures of these conflicts.

This book is the last part of the trilogy that began with Jeff’s father, Michael Shaara. And like the Pulitzer Prize winning parent, Jeff Shaara takes on the sequels to The Killer Angels with a thoroughly researched and highly exciting take on the events
Apr 04, 2014 CJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
he Last Full Measure is the third in the Shaaras trilogy of the American Civil War (Killer Angels written by father Michael Shaara about the battle of Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, Jeff Shaara's book on the beginning of the war) and it details the years following the battle of Gettysburg. The story is told mostly through the eyes of Robert E. Lee, Joshua Laurence Chamberlain, and brings in Ulysses S. Grant, though there are chapters from the perspective of other figures as well.

The book is e
Jul 26, 2009 Jake rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I had a chance to shake hands with Jeff Shaara at a Civil War reenactment in Gettysburg prior to the release of his first novel Gods and Generals . He was autographing copies of a new edition of The Killer Angels , his late father's Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Hmmm. Anyway, he seemed like a gentleman.

I’m rather cynical about Jeff Shaara’s great success as a rare coin dealer turned novelist. But I have to confess, in his second outing he does pretty well. I enjoyed reading The Last Full Measu
Dick Gullickson
Dec 04, 2013 Dick Gullickson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the last book of the Shaara trilogy of the civil war. It focuses on the end game with most of the emphasis on the time after Grant’s appointment as commander in chief of the Union Army in April, 1864. This book is especially fascinating for Wilderness area residents with its discussion of the Mine Run Campaign, the Battle of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, and the final phase of the civil war as the noose tightens around Richmond and Petersburg. The biggest star in the book afte ...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
Jun 26, 2013 Mickey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! The writing was so powerful that the characters came alive for me -- I cared about what happened to them. The fictionalization fleshed out what could have been just boring names in a history book. The encounter between Gen. Grant and the dying man sitting beside a tree after the Cold Harbor battle, the description of Gen. Chamberlain issuing the "Carry Arms!" command to his men as the defeated Confederates laid down their muskets -- very moving accounts. It was fascinating to ...more
May 15, 2013 LemonLinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third and last in a trilogy of Cilvil War books authored by the Shaaras (father and son). Following the critical acclaim which came posthumously to the father for The Killer Angels, the quintessential book detailing the battle of Gettysburg, the son wrote the prequel and this one which is the sequel to his father's book. It covers the war following Gettysburg through to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. Like the others, this novel is told from the perspective of the generals fr ...more
Oct 05, 2013 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Shaara family Civil War trilogy continues in The Last Full Measure. In The Killer Angels, father Michael Shaara told the story of the battle of Gettysburg and events leading up to it. Jeffrey Shaara completes the trilogy with the prequel Gods and Generals and this book–the sequel.

The Last Full Measure picks up after Gettysburg, as Lee leaves Pennsylvania and begins a series of battles against his new opponent–Ulysses S. Grant. After losing Gettysburg and still trying to recover from the loss
Jun 16, 2012 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Jeff Shaara completes the Civil War three-book sandwich he and his father wrote, wrapping up the tales from the bloodiest war in which the United States had been involved up to that point. Shaara's storytelling takes the reader inside the lines of troops, generals, battle plans, and even strategies to defeat the other side. He illustrates the progress of both sides by personalising the story, using characters on both sides of the fighting to bring a more complete and in-depth analysis and presen ...more
Sam Nock
Feb 13, 2012 Sam Nock is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book has many main characters because it contains ongoing asides where characters from the North (Union Army) and characters from the South (Confederate Army) are plotting their tactics on how to win the post-Gettysburg battles. If I had to choose a main character it would be Confederate General Robert E. Lee because he is the major leader of the Southern Army and his intellect and great leadership display his huge effect on the Confederate Army. Towards the beginning of the book it says;
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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 Killer Angels

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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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