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The Civil War Trilogy: Gods and Generals / The Killer Angels / The Last Full Measure

(The Civil War Trilogy #1-3 )

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,806 ratings  ·  91 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 ...more
Published April 27th 1999 by Ballantine Books
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 ·  1,806 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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Nov 05, 2008 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
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shaara
This was an outstanding trilogy about the civil war and I'm not a big fan of history books about our country's wars. Although this is what I'd call fictional history the events were real. A great story!
Wendy Rabe
Apr 05, 2008 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
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
Ginger Stephens
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a review of the entire trilogy.

All Americans should read this, especially in this time when the Confederacy and the causes of the War are misunderstood and misconstrued. The Killer Angels is MUCH better than God and Generals and The Last Full Measure. That does not mean that those are not good books worth reading. The Killer Angels is in a class by itself. Few books are its equal.

The Killer Angels inspires emotions: sadness, anger, confusion. The other two do that, but not as strongly
Lee Ann
Loved all three, with Gods and Generals being the best of them.
Greg Parrott
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though long, I really enjoyed this trilogy from cover to cover. Fictional but plausible... refreshing putting the human on each major character trying to see inside their minds on why they did what they did. Covering from the pre-war years until just after the death of General Lee, the book dives into the (possible) emotions and thoughts of the major players. Did it really happen this way? No one can truly know. Worth the reading to have some perspective on the current events regarding things ...more
James Christensen
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very well written. Covers the period of 1858 to 1863, prior to the civil war up to but not including Gettesburg.

Tells the story of the lead up to the war and the early years from the perspective of Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, Winfield Scott Hancock and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, with visits to other leaders. So, not a history book per say, but wonderful insight to what was going through the minds of these players.

Very insightful as to the mind of a civil war military
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Civil war trilogy

Outstanding presentation of one of the bloodiest wars of the United States. Shaara presents a detailed story of the civil war from both the union and confederate viewpoints with no bias towards either side. The box set holds the readers attention throughout al three books. Excellent reading.
james l royle
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very real portrayal of the civil war.

I have read Shaaras book on WW2 and this book follows his unique ability to place you there in the awful Civil War using history and fiction dialogue. Great book
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Canadian reading about the US civil war after recent headlines about General Lee. Could not put this book down. Amazing character development, detail, story. I would recommend it to anyone interested in peeling back the onion layers.
David Radin
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible trilogy!

I loved every minute of it. Well written and exciting.
Karen Pierangeli
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Some of my all time favorites.
gail  Baker
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great trilogy of the Civil War and politics of the era. I never knew that the Southern States in Secession, if they won, wanted to return to British Rule.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A compelled and well written fictional on the horror and adventure of war.
Lee Yahnker
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I love historical fiction when the characters play a major part. This book is to heavy on the battles of the Civil War. I didn’t finish it.
Lynn Ferder
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend. This trilogy answered a lot of questions I had about the civil war. I feel I know the history a lot better now. Easy to read, great writing by both authors.
Mike Bartol
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

One great read. A must for anyone interested in the Civil War and the history of the early United States.
Matthew Fernandez
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Far and away one of the greatest trilogies ever written.

Michael Shaara is the writer of the second book chronologically but first one published, "The Killer Angels" telling the story about the four days of the Battle of Gettysburg from the points of view of the general officers of both the Union and Confederate Armies in the American Civil War (1861-1865).

The second published but first chronologically is "Gods and Generals" written and published by his son Jeffery Shaara 22 years later follows
Shannon Olsen
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
good book with a different perspective since it's about/from the Generals. Can be frustrating at times hearing some of the hurdles (even though it's fiction, I'm sure some of the challenges were very much true!).
Eddie Black
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They books were brilliant and moving. Though I must confess that I struggled to finish the last half of the 3rd. I was practically shouting "SURRENDER ALREADY" at the pages.

But the fights, the pride, the fear and uncertainty, the decorum and camaraderie, all captured brilliantly in these pages.

I loved the style of writing on books 1 and 3 the best. Gettysburg came above in the 2nd. I've been to the Highgate Mark, the Wheat Field, Devil's Den, Little Round Top, looked across the field of
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jon Wayne
Apr 10, 2016 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
Matt Swanson
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I think this is a great book for people to get the Historical Genre done in their genre checklist. This book is very exciting, as its events are based on the Cival War. I loved to read this book because I, for one am a historical fiction fan, but for those who are on the other side, might find this challenging. The book is thick, and as I am a slow reader, tended to last a long time, but for other slow readers, you should know there are many pictures and symbols every handful of pages, which ...more
Shawn Cunningham
Feb 08, 2009 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
May 31, 2011 marked it as to-read

'"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,
Erin Fisher
Apr 10, 2008 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 ...more
Chris Kaftan
Jul 13, 2007 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
Hannah Thomas
Jun 11, 2011 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 R. Howard
Jul 12, 2008 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.
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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

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)
“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
“the hard look of a man who also understood, who had seen all the stupidity, who knew, after all, that the gold stars were often mindless decoration, that the army was led not by symbols, but by the fallible egos and blind fantasies of men.           I” 0 likes
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