The Killer Angels was breathtaking. The book had a way of making me feel as if I had been there observing the battle of Gettysburg. The author described every detail of the men he was depicting. I could envision their tattered clothes and was able to peek into their fears and joys and what each person thought was wrong or right, to the point where I cared for them and hoped they wouldn’t be killed in this battlefield of paper. The Killer Angels depicts the fateful battle of Gettysburg where the union won a pivotal victory and was a key turning point in the war. Lee and the Confederate army had invaded Pennsylvania and the army of the Potomac, with General Mead as its commander, was there to stop him. It depicts the battle of Gettysburg day by day, from different peoples views and somehow the author, Shaara. manages to stay neutral in this book of conflict. This book describes Gettysburg at a personal level reciting important event’s from many people’s points of view and imparting a feeling of glory all the while.
Michael Shaara was a gifted person. He had personal connections to this battle, as his great grandfather had been a member of the 42nd Georgia division of the Confederate army. Also, he had two very different views growing up, his mother being very southern and his father a New Yorker. Michael Shaara said that he wanted to know more about the battle of Gettysburg. Not just battle strategy’s and what happened, but how the men felt, what the trees looked like, were there clouds in the sky, and he wanted to share this with others.
The introduction of The Killer Angels was written in first person though the rest of the book was written in third, which allowed the author to tell this story from many different characters points of view. His consistent amount of detail suggests that he possessed an enormous knowledge regarding this event.
All in all, The Killer Angles is a fantastic book. I loved the detail to which he went to describe events, how he made things have an almost foreboding aura about them and then, he wrote of glory on the battlefield. My only compliant is that I had to pay very close attention as to which side a character was on, and unless you have an amazing knowledge of the Civil War you will too. Overall, I would give this book a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone who likes American history and the Civil War or, if you, like me are fascinated by Robert E Lee.