A Blaze of Glory by Jeff Shaara, Ballantine Books 2012, the Civil War in the West (Book 1), Paperback, 480 pages
I’ve had a passing interest in the American Civil War. I learned what was taught in school – the west coast perspective – and I read “The Red Badge of Courage” but that was about it.
However in 1990 I watched with great interest Ken Burn’s The Civil War enjoying the insights and presentation, and learned a lot from it. A few years later I borrowed it from the library and re-watched it.
Then I read Bruce Catton’s Centennial History of the Civil War, which covers the causes of the war, and the battles of Bull Run through the final surrender.
I liked the books, and later I wanted more. I came across The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, about the Gettysburg battle, and liked it a lot. Then my friend Dave Lewis suggested I try the books by Jeff Shaara, Michael’s son, and I got them in ebook format.
I’ve just finished reading the first of four in his Western Theater Tetralogy: A Blaze of Glory about the Battle of Shiloh. Like The Killer Angels, the book is written from the viewpoints of several people involved, on both sides of the conflict, both famous and a few characters added to give the story a more personal flavor. One of these is a foot soldier, carrying a single shot musket, who is on the front lines of this cannon-musket-bayonet battle. It was a bloody one, and our character was on his belly in the famous peach orchard fight.
This book is very well done. I’ll be going on to the second book, which is about the battle and siege of Vicksburg next week.
This sounds very interesting, and I am glad you enjoyed it. I have always concentrated more on World War II in non-fiction and fictional accounts, and know little about the Civil War.
And the opposite here, though I have a little about WWII, a couple on your recommendation.
I forgot to tell you … I think. I recently got a copy of IN FARLEIGH FIELD by Rhys Bowen, on your recommendation. And will be reading it soon.
Cool. I look forward to your review, when it comes.
The Shaaras (you have a repeated typo on their surname–Sharra they ain’t) are and were dedicated writers…Michael Shaara fought like hell to get his last works done, and consistently was blocked from seeing the great rewards from his books, and Jeff has been to all appearances a great curator of his father’s legacy.
Thanks, Todd, I guess I was on automatic with that one, and with the cover right in front of me! That’s a shame about Michael.
Sounds very interesting. I’ve been interested in the Civil War since I was a teenager.
Jeff, these are very good, just your thing.
Killer Angels is terrific. Knew he had a son but haven’t tried him.
Think you’d enjoy this one, Patti.
I have a number of Jeff Shaara Civil War books, but haven’t gotten around to reading them. I have read THE KILLER ANGELS . Great novel!