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Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields: Discovering America's Hallowed Ground

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TRAVEL THROUGH A PIVOTAL TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY Jeff Shaara, America’s premier Civil War novelist, gives a remarkable guided tour of the ten Civil War battlefields every American should visit: Shiloh, Antietam, Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, New Market, Chickamauga, the Wilderness/Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg/Appomattox. Shaara explor TRAVEL THROUGH A PIVOTAL TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY Jeff Shaara, America’s premier Civil War novelist, gives a remarkable guided tour of the ten Civil War battlefields every American should visit: Shiloh, Antietam, Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, New Market, Chickamauga, the Wilderness/Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg/Appomattox. Shaara explores the history, the people, and the places that capture the true meaning and magnitude of the conflict and provides • engaging narratives of the war’s crucial battles • intriguing historical footnotes about each site • photographs of the locations–then and now • detailed maps of the battle scenes • fascinating sidebars with related points of interest From Antietam to Gettysburg to Vicksburg, and to the many poignant destinations in between, Jeff Shaara’s Civil War Battlefields is the ideal guide for casual tourists and Civil War enthusiasts alike.


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TRAVEL THROUGH A PIVOTAL TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY Jeff Shaara, America’s premier Civil War novelist, gives a remarkable guided tour of the ten Civil War battlefields every American should visit: Shiloh, Antietam, Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, New Market, Chickamauga, the Wilderness/Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg/Appomattox. Shaara explor TRAVEL THROUGH A PIVOTAL TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY Jeff Shaara, America’s premier Civil War novelist, gives a remarkable guided tour of the ten Civil War battlefields every American should visit: Shiloh, Antietam, Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, New Market, Chickamauga, the Wilderness/Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg/Appomattox. Shaara explores the history, the people, and the places that capture the true meaning and magnitude of the conflict and provides • engaging narratives of the war’s crucial battles • intriguing historical footnotes about each site • photographs of the locations–then and now • detailed maps of the battle scenes • fascinating sidebars with related points of interest From Antietam to Gettysburg to Vicksburg, and to the many poignant destinations in between, Jeff Shaara’s Civil War Battlefields is the ideal guide for casual tourists and Civil War enthusiasts alike.

30 review for Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields: Discovering America's Hallowed Ground

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ira Livingston

    Being a huge Shaara fan, I knew going into this book was not going to be his typical style or for that matter a true history book. But it is what I was hoping for, I'm about to turn 50 and am planning a trip to Shiloh, because of all the books I've read and the fact I just love American Civil War history in general. However, reading this book has given me more to look at than just a simple stop in and try to absorb the battlefield. Being from the western United States I still get goose flesh think Being a huge Shaara fan, I knew going into this book was not going to be his typical style or for that matter a true history book. But it is what I was hoping for, I'm about to turn 50 and am planning a trip to Shiloh, because of all the books I've read and the fact I just love American Civil War history in general. However, reading this book has given me more to look at than just a simple stop in and try to absorb the battlefield. Being from the western United States I still get goose flesh thinking of my visit to the Little Big Horn battlefield. A truly unique snapshot of what happened there. I would urge any history buff to pay the place a visit while traveling west. Because of this book I've decided to extend my trip covering Shiloh, Chattanooga and Chickamagua. From the looks of it all within 8 hours travel time from each other, allowing me to spend possibly as much as two days at each on the journey. I'll keep you posted on how it went, but would recommend this book for any planning a trip to one of the 10 sites mentioned.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Great guide to some of the Civil War's most important battlegrounds. Invaluable. Got me around Antietam and Gettysburg without a hitch. A great project!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ora

    I listened to this audio book and didn't know how worthwhile a book about how to visit a civil war battlefield would be. I was pleasantly surprised. The book is more history book as it covers 10 significant battles, why they were important and then a bit of what to see at each site. The battles are listed in chronological order, so you also are led through the war in a logical progression. I can imagine borrowing the physical book to plan a future vacation.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Spike Pedersen

    A great guide to history. The book builds on the wonderful civil war work that he has done with his father. He talks of the loss of life and the need for it, and the absolute needless loss of life. War should never happpen again. We need to find common ground without the horrrible method we use still today.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Fair warning: the author is an old-school Robert E. Lee fan, as his fiction (and his father's) made clear. So his narratives come with a heapin' dose of Grand Ol' Dixie (for instance, in his view the destruction of the VMI building is a tragedy -- but apparently enslaving humans was not much). So if you can't stomach that all-to-frequent retelling of the Civil War, you may want to steer clear of this one. But I thought the book was really well done otherwise, giving a brief narrative of the U.S. C Fair warning: the author is an old-school Robert E. Lee fan, as his fiction (and his father's) made clear. So his narratives come with a heapin' dose of Grand Ol' Dixie (for instance, in his view the destruction of the VMI building is a tragedy -- but apparently enslaving humans was not much). So if you can't stomach that all-to-frequent retelling of the Civil War, you may want to steer clear of this one. But I thought the book was really well done otherwise, giving a brief narrative of the U.S. Civil War chronologically through key battles that have well-preserved battlefields. I've had the opportunity to visit 3 or 4 of those mentioned in the book, and thought he did a really nice job covering them. And give Mr. Shaara credit, he has a real appreciation of the significance of these battlefields, if it's marred a bit by the false equivalence post-1900 histories.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Monical

    Read this book out of desperation, nothing else to read! Hope I get a new library card soon. I find Jeff Shaara's books to be rather mediocre, but I keep picking them up because they are pretty reliable page-turners. This book was especially bad for me because it is a tour guide for Civil War battlefields. The stories of the battles are okay, but then the book includes specifics about touring the battlefields. If I were doing a tour, that would be interesting, but its pretty dry reading if I'm j Read this book out of desperation, nothing else to read! Hope I get a new library card soon. I find Jeff Shaara's books to be rather mediocre, but I keep picking them up because they are pretty reliable page-turners. This book was especially bad for me because it is a tour guide for Civil War battlefields. The stories of the battles are okay, but then the book includes specifics about touring the battlefields. If I were doing a tour, that would be interesting, but its pretty dry reading if I'm just reading it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Jeff Shaara' Civil War Battlefields is a pleasure to read, especially as I have visited all the Battlefields Shaara writes about. It could have used a little more about the actual parks themselves in relation to the amount of history, but it generally is a really good book. Very useful for people who are looking into visiting the sites.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Interesting read. I would recommend that someone read this book before visiting the battlefields.

  9. 4 out of 5

    John Matthew

    I read the chapters on Shiloh and Vicksburg on my way to the Memphis to start The Civil War Tour: Mississippi River Campaign tour. Great introduction.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bladestryke

    A great resource for civil war buffs. Each section starts with an account of the battle then why that moment us important then goes on to suggest what to see at the site. Very well done.

  11. 5 out of 5

    James

    Excellent book. Good detail.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Deighton

    Great insight into the 10 most famous battles of the Civil War. Each chapter explains what happened here, why the battle was important & what you should see. Just relocated to Richmond, VA and used this book as a guide to see the Petersburg & Cold Harbor Battlefield. Great insight into the 10 most famous battles of the Civil War. Each chapter explains what happened here, why the battle was important & what you should see. Just relocated to Richmond, VA and used this book as a guide to see the Petersburg & Cold Harbor Battlefield.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    Jeff Shaara has a way of bringing history to life, even in this work of non-fiction. As a history lover, especially of the Civil War time period, this book was extremely entertaining and interesting! Shaara does a great job of detailing several major battles throughout the Civil War as well as the events leading up to and following those battles. He does a remarkable job of telling the entire story of the war in both the Eastern and Western theaters, tying everything together, to create a book t Jeff Shaara has a way of bringing history to life, even in this work of non-fiction. As a history lover, especially of the Civil War time period, this book was extremely entertaining and interesting! Shaara does a great job of detailing several major battles throughout the Civil War as well as the events leading up to and following those battles. He does a remarkable job of telling the entire story of the war in both the Eastern and Western theaters, tying everything together, to create a book that serves as both a guide to visiting battlefields and a history text. Reading this has encouraged me to take my son on future trips to share the history that I love so much in a way that is real and meaningful. When we do go visit these battlefields and others not included here, this book will go with us. Shaara does a great job not only of telling the stories of these places, but of giving great advice regarding what to consider when visiting these places and what specific things to see while you are there. I continue to appreciate how Jeff Shaara shows no bias toward one side or the other in this tragic war. His history is honest and objective as he looks at both sides of the table with a simple appreciation for history. He has helped me, as a southerner, to grow in my appreciation for many northern heroes of this war, as well as build a better understanding of both the good and the bad in the south. We can often romanticize certain views and time periods, but Shaara presents facts of history in an intriguing and enjoyable way that brings the field of battle to life. While I can never truly know what the experience would have been like, I have a much better grasp. If you love American history and appreciate the Civil War, you need to read this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Frank Richardson

    Great book for us civil war buffs. For those who are interested, Jeff Shaara is the son of Michael Shaara who in 1974 wrote a book called "The Killer Angels" It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 but it only enjoyed modest sales until Ken Burn's epic documentary film, "The Civil War" appeared over several weeks on public television and resulted in renewed interest in the Civil War. This was in the early 1990's and then in 1992, Ted Turner took quite a chance, according to Jeff, and financed a film c Great book for us civil war buffs. For those who are interested, Jeff Shaara is the son of Michael Shaara who in 1974 wrote a book called "The Killer Angels" It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 but it only enjoyed modest sales until Ken Burn's epic documentary film, "The Civil War" appeared over several weeks on public television and resulted in renewed interest in the Civil War. This was in the early 1990's and then in 1992, Ted Turner took quite a chance, according to Jeff, and financed a film called "Gettysburg" and frankly to me, the best part of the film is watching Ted Turner get shot as he was hired as an extra and crossed the wheat field in Pickett's ill advised and ill fated charge. After the film came out, it was based on Michael's book, "The Killer Angels" was number 1 on the New York Times best seller list but Michael Shaara never got to enjoy the acclaim as he died in 1988 of a heart attack. Oh yes and now about the book, Jeff Shaara, who has written several books including "God and Generals", "The Last Full Measure", and "The Glorious Cause" among others has taken on a tour of battlefields including Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Shiloh. Chickamauga,and others. He describes the battle in sometimes a little too much detail but then goes on to tell how to get there what parts of the battlefield you make sure to see and oh yes he recommends hiring a local guide if you can. He says it is worth it. Enjoy this book and then hop in the car and check out some battlefields! Frank

  15. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    This nifty little paperback is a nice reference material if you are sufficiently interested in the American Civil War that you are reading non-fiction books about specific battles. For example, I am currently finishing Sears's book about Chancellorsville. It is useful to turn and find the visual depiction of who is where at a given time. The book itself has some maps of this nature, but not enough. I notice that different writers describe various battles differently in places, and particularly ma This nifty little paperback is a nice reference material if you are sufficiently interested in the American Civil War that you are reading non-fiction books about specific battles. For example, I am currently finishing Sears's book about Chancellorsville. It is useful to turn and find the visual depiction of who is where at a given time. The book itself has some maps of this nature, but not enough. I notice that different writers describe various battles differently in places, and particularly may differ in regard to who was to blame for various errors. I am only now getting deep enough into this massive topic to start comparing versions of battles that were not central (i.e., I had read a good deal about Antietam and Gettysburg, because they were each considered definitive, or turning points, but only recently had I noticed that I left Chancellorsville out, and it played an important role.) There are other Civil War atlases that are more complete, and in ways, more helpful. I have one, but it is a tome. I can't haul it off to bed and read Sears with a copy of the atlas alongside somewhere; it takes up too much room. Shaara's version is tightly worded, well rendered, and compact enough to be a take-along. So, I am not REALLY "done" with it, because it is reference material; I am finished regarding the battle I am about to be finished studying (for now). But I will use this atlas again and again, as I read about other battles.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    "Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields", is a must for anyone interested in the American Civil War and it's history. Jeff Shaara has taken up the mantle of research and discovery to bring all the information about the Civil War to those historians and history buffs alike. This book is broken down into 10 battles. Each battle is thoroughly discussed and includes the why's and where's the battles were fought. As you read through the sections, you can begin to understand what was going on a the tim "Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields", is a must for anyone interested in the American Civil War and it's history. Jeff Shaara has taken up the mantle of research and discovery to bring all the information about the Civil War to those historians and history buffs alike. This book is broken down into 10 battles. Each battle is thoroughly discussed and includes the why's and where's the battles were fought. As you read through the sections, you can begin to understand what was going on a the time of the battle as well as understand what each commander was thinking during each battle. Falling each section Shaara describes points of interest for you as you go to these battlefields. Not only are the touristy points noted, but he points to some areas which may not be mentioned by tour guides and catalogs. What I learned while reading this book, was that not all the well known battles were on importance, but that there were many so called insignificate battles which actully had influenced the outcome of the war. As a history buff myself, I found this book extremely informative and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about some of the battles of the American Civil War.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I do plan to read this book. My husband and I bought it for his brother who was a huge Civil War buff and we were fortunate to tour several battlefields with him on the East Coast. After we bought the book at one of the gift shops I was reading aloud as we drove and actually found it quite interesting and joked about taking it back. I was told a very definite no. The sad part is I did get it back several months later. When we made the tour Robert Earl was in remission or at least the doctor's we I do plan to read this book. My husband and I bought it for his brother who was a huge Civil War buff and we were fortunate to tour several battlefields with him on the East Coast. After we bought the book at one of the gift shops I was reading aloud as we drove and actually found it quite interesting and joked about taking it back. I was told a very definite no. The sad part is I did get it back several months later. When we made the tour Robert Earl was in remission or at least the doctor's were in between treatments I'm not sure which the point is they told him he could make the trip from Texas to Virginia. That was in August 2006 he flew home having every intention of returning in May 2007 for his niece's wedding. Unfortunately, he passed away in September 2006 due to Pancreatic Cancer and long story short I got the book back. Hey, Robert Earl Coffee Doughnut? (Family Joke)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jim Davenport

    I stumbled upon this book while trying to locate a copy of The Last Full Measure. I remember sitting in Barnes and Nobles as I started reading the introduction and got into the first chapter. Tears began to roll down my eyes as I felt the passion and understood the reality of what actually happened during those horrifying battles of the Civil War between our own. Of course, I had read Gods and Generals and The Killer Angels, but I had somehow forgotten (in a way) that these events had really hap I stumbled upon this book while trying to locate a copy of The Last Full Measure. I remember sitting in Barnes and Nobles as I started reading the introduction and got into the first chapter. Tears began to roll down my eyes as I felt the passion and understood the reality of what actually happened during those horrifying battles of the Civil War between our own. Of course, I had read Gods and Generals and The Killer Angels, but I had somehow forgotten (in a way) that these events had really happened, like.... not that long ago. And that the path from then to now hadn't been totally obliterated by time. That realization, however naive it may sound, really had a major effect on me in those moments and in the moments afterwards when I took the book home and finished it. Thanks Jeff! Well done.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Corey

    I love love love Shaara's books! For my money he is one of the preeminent historical fiction writers out there. I hadn't read any non-fiction by him but recently took a vacation which included a side trip to Gettysburg and Manassas (bucket list items for me for sure). I bought this book to help my wife more than anything as she is not a history buff. However, I was delighted to find that this book contains a great synopsis of each battle covered, the significance of the battle and his recommenda I love love love Shaara's books! For my money he is one of the preeminent historical fiction writers out there. I hadn't read any non-fiction by him but recently took a vacation which included a side trip to Gettysburg and Manassas (bucket list items for me for sure). I bought this book to help my wife more than anything as she is not a history buff. However, I was delighted to find that this book contains a great synopsis of each battle covered, the significance of the battle and his recommendations on specific things to see. In some cases he was able to point out some things that actually contradict or amplify some of the current thinking on some of these battlefields. Whether you know a lot or a little if you are visiting any of these battlefields this is a great resource. If you want a good Civil War primer this serves that function as well!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    I almost sad at finishing this because this was the last Jeff Shara I hadn't read so now I need to wait until his next book about Vicksburg comes out to read more. This is the only nonfiction book that Shara has written but it was very enjoyable and his descriptions of the battles and the modern battlefields was just as touching as they are in his novels. In this book Shara describes a number of battlefields that he feels that every American should visit for one reason or another. He describes t I almost sad at finishing this because this was the last Jeff Shara I hadn't read so now I need to wait until his next book about Vicksburg comes out to read more. This is the only nonfiction book that Shara has written but it was very enjoyable and his descriptions of the battles and the modern battlefields was just as touching as they are in his novels. In this book Shara describes a number of battlefields that he feels that every American should visit for one reason or another. He describes the battle, why it was important, and the must see places on the field. This book would be great for any reader, Civil War buff or not.

  21. 5 out of 5

    David

    Jeff Shaara has written a great companion book to the civil war trilogy that includes two of his novels and one of his father's. This book does two good things: It provides a chronological summary of the major battles at ten battlefields, which would be great as an overview either before or after reading his trilogy (or all by itself). In addition, as this is also a guide to the battlefields, he provided information to the would-be tourist of what to see when visiting these battlefields. Recomme Jeff Shaara has written a great companion book to the civil war trilogy that includes two of his novels and one of his father's. This book does two good things: It provides a chronological summary of the major battles at ten battlefields, which would be great as an overview either before or after reading his trilogy (or all by itself). In addition, as this is also a guide to the battlefields, he provided information to the would-be tourist of what to see when visiting these battlefields. Recommended for those interested in this era.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jaret

    This was a really well-written handbook to major Civil War battlefields to visit. The format of the chapters were well-organized. Shaara explained the major events at each battlefield, how that battle affected the Civil War as a whole, and what sights to see at each place. It was obvious that Shaara was using research as well as personal experience for each site. Even though I was listening to the audioversion and not the text copy (which I probably would have enjoyed more), the descriptions wer This was a really well-written handbook to major Civil War battlefields to visit. The format of the chapters were well-organized. Shaara explained the major events at each battlefield, how that battle affected the Civil War as a whole, and what sights to see at each place. It was obvious that Shaara was using research as well as personal experience for each site. Even though I was listening to the audioversion and not the text copy (which I probably would have enjoyed more), the descriptions were enough to hold my interest.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jim Crotty

    Jeff Shaara provides a nice balance by effectively combining a very well researched narrative description of some of the most pivotal battles with a current day walking tour of the same ground where the battles were fought. It's a great book for those of us who are avid Civil War buffs yet don't have the time or patience to work through huge volumes of literary work that often become bogged-down in too many tactical details regarding the various engagements.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sean Wylie

    Amazing book about 10 key civil war battle fields. I did not realize how little I knew about the civil war till reading this book. What a horrific time in world history. I was so intrigued by this book I am making a detour on my christmas trip to visit a battle field along our driving route. Must read for anyone interested in war history, american history, or needs a reminder of how close this country came to failure.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy Nielsen

    This was great! It really inspired me to learn more about the Civil War, one I've been interested in for a long time having spent time in that proximity as a girl and visited Gettysburg on field trips. I did get a little bogged down trying to keep the details straight as the author described each battle. But the warfare strategies, human errors, utter responsibility, devastation, magnitude of lives lost and sheer horror of this war overwhelmed me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Hugh Henry

    This book is an absolute treasure for tourist historians. I learned new things about battlefields that I had visited multiple times. His knowledge is abundant and his prose very orderly and readable for everyone from the casual reader to the professional historian. He even includes contact information for each battlefield park headquarters. I listened to this book on tape, but I will have to buy it and use it next time I go hunting for hallowed ground.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Darrell

    This book is a treasure trove of information. I already knew much about the Civil War, but Shaara builds on that and gives great details. In the sections where he talks you through the grounds, he is open and honest about conditions of the sites and how to find them in easy to understand instruction. This may be of some interest to those who do not know anything on the subject as well as for those who do. Enjoy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Elliott

    This is a great book to read to get a good summation of the civil war, what led up to it, what happened during it and the politics and background stories surrounding the war. Well written and informative, also serves as a good guide book for a number of the most important battle grounds to go visit.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen K - Ohio

    My husband and I listened to this book on a recent car trip. We were both captivated by the descriptions of these ten major battles. Each chapter is divided into three sections: What Happened Here, Why Is This Battle Important, and What You Should See. If you want to visit any of the battlefields this book is a great place to start.

  30. 4 out of 5

    MJ Cahill

    Good history overview

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