The Last Full Measure

Jeff Shaara, Author
Jeff Shaara, Author Ballantine $27.95 (576p) ISBN 978-0-345-40491-6
Reviewed on: 05/18/1998
Release date: 05/01/1998
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-375-40309-5
Paperback - 978-0-375-70291-4
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-345-42548-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 640 pages - 978-0-345-43481-4
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-345-43850-8
Paperback - 978-0-7838-0155-1
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-86241-811-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-05905-4
Prebound-Glued - 612 pages - 978-0-7807-9994-3
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Concluding the Civil War trilogy that began with his father Michael's Pulitzer-winning The Killer Angels, Shaara (Gods and Generals) chronicles Lee's retreat from Gettysburg and his valiant efforts to defend northern Virginia from Grant's superior, better-supplied forces. Seen alternately through the eyes of Lee, Grant and Maine abolitionist Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the narrative begins with the successful Union ambush at Bristoe Station in October 1863. It then details Lee's 18-month cat-and-mouse game as he outmaneuvers Grant, despite overwhelming odds and terrible deprivation, concludes with Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Impressively researched, this deeply affecting work can't be faulted for inaccuracy or lack of detail. But the occasionally coarse grain of Shaara's characterizations is a problem. Haunted by Stonewall Jackson's ghost, 56-year-old Lee frequently appears to be a semisenile neurotic. Grant, more concerned about his supply of cigars than battle losses, comes across as a dolt. This tendency toward caricature notwithstanding, Shaara has produced a stirring epigraph to his father's remarkable novel. Major ad/promo; first serial to Civil War Times Illustrated; BOMC and QPB alternates; author tour. (June)
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