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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Jeff Shaara creates a very good Civil War novel

Gods and GeneralsGods and Generals by Jeff Shaara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jeff Shaara uses the formula used so successfully in Killer Angels, an historical novel about the Civil War battle of Gettysburg, in Gods and Generals which covers the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Each chapter focuses on one of the major figures in these conflicts including Lee, Jackson, Winfield Scott Hancock, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, and others.

I appreciated Shaara's in-depth research which matches that of his father's book. The characters are complex and nuanced. The reading never bogs down. The descriptions and actions are as good as any created by Gore Vidal and Stephen Crane on the same topics.

One more thing. The book is better than the movie.

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