Gods and Generals
Ballantine, 491 pp.
With Gods and Generals, Shaara takes over his father’s legacy. Twenty-ﬁve years ago, Michael Shaara wrote The Killer Angels which won critical acclaim, created a whole new genre of historical novels, and was later turned into Ted Turner’s Gettysburg.
Gods and Generals tells the story of the Civil War’s beginnings, starting in 1858, and ending the month before the Battle of Gettysburg. Shaara continues in his father’s style of writing history as a narrative, turning the actual participants into characters. As in The Killer Angels, you get a remarkable feel for the period and events, even if sometimes you’re left wondering about the author’s accuracy at getting inside the heads of major historical ﬁgures. The only thing keeping the younger Shaara from rivaling his father’s achievement is the lack of significance to the battles portrayed in this novel. The stories are all good, but don’t come close to achieving the scope of the events surrounding Gettysburg.