"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."
--Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, 1863
The Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, was a major event in American history. Most soldiers found that the "War Between the States" was not the great adventure or the easy victory they had expected. The bitter, ruthless fighting sometimes pitted brother against brother and proved to be the nation's bloodiest conflict. More than three million Americans saw battle; close to 600,000 lost their lives; another 400,00 were scarred, maimed or disabled for life.
This important event in American history has provided a rich and powerful setting for many historical fiction novels, including Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt , Bull Run by Paul Fleischman, A Soldier's Heart by Gary Paulsen, and Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.
To better understand any of these novels and their historical contexts, you will investigate a topic related to one facet of the American Civil War experience. Your research should enable you to answer the following question:
How does an understanding of the historical and cultural background of the American Civil War enhance your reading of historical fiction set in this time period?
Jeffrey M. "Jeff" Shaara (born February 21, 1952) is an American novelist, the son of Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Shaara.
Jeffrey Shaara was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 1974 with a degree in Criminology and lives in Tallahassee.
He wrote Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure, which are the prequel and sequel, respectively, to his father Michael's award-winning novel The Killer Angels. Jeff followed his father's footsteps upon the latter's death, writing historical fiction and documenting the American wars and their most-historically-relevant characters. In total, Jeff has written thirteen New York Times bestselling novels.
He completed a trilogy in 2010 about World War II in the European and North African theaters. A fourth World War II novel, titled The Final Storm, covers the end of the war in the Pacific, and was released on May 17, 2011.
Shaara has received the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction from the American Library Association in 2005 for To The Last Man: A Novel of The First World War and in 1997 for Gods and Generals. The American Library Association's Reference and Users Services Association recognized The Steel Wave as a 2009 Notable Book.
He has also been awarded the Lincoln Forum's "Richard Nelson Currant Award", New York Civil War Round Table's "Bell I. Wiley Award", and Florida State University's "Artes Award" as a Distinguished Alumnus.Inducted into the FSU College of Criminology Hall of Fame 2011. Awarded FSU's first annual Distinguished Eriter Award.
Movies Based on His Works
In 2003, Warner Brothers made the major motion picture Gods and Generals, which was based upon his book of the same title.
- Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields: Discovering America's Hallowed Ground (2006) ISBN 9780345464880
- Gods and Generals (1996)—Civil War (1858–1863) ISBN 9780345409577
- The Last Full Measure (1998)—Civil War (1861–1865) ISBN 9780345404916
- Gone for Soldiers (2000)—US-Mexican War (1847–1848) ISBN 9780345427502
- Rise to Rebellion (2001)—Pre-American Revolutionary War (1770–1776) ISBN 9780345427533
- The Glorious Cause (2002)—American Revolutionary War (1776–1783) ISBN 9780345427564
- To the Last Man (2004)—World War I (1914–1918) ISBN 9780345461346
- The Rising Tide (2006)—World War II (1939–1945), Trilogy Part 1 of 3 ISBN 9780345461414
- The Steel Wave (2008)—World War II (1939–1945), Trilogy Part 2 of 3 ISBN 9780345461421
- No Less Than Victory (2009)—World War II (1939–1945), Trilogy Part 3 of 3 ISBN 9780345497925
- The Final Storm (Jeff Shaara novel) (2011)—World War II (1939–1945), Pacific Theater ISBN 9780345497949
- A Blaze of Glory (2012)—Civil War (1861-1865), Western Theater, Tetralogy Part 1 of 4 ISBN 9780345527356
- A Chain of Thunder (2013)—Civil War (1861-1865), Western Theater, Tetralogy Part 2 of 4 ISBN 9780345527387
- The Smoke at Dawn (2014)—Civil War (1861-1865), Western Theater, Tetralogy Part 3 of 4 ISBN 9780345527417
- The Fateful Lightning (2015)—Civil War (1861-1865), Western Theater, Tetralogy Part 4 of 4 ISBN 9780345549198
- The Frozen Hours (2017)—Korean War (1950-1953) ISBN 9780345549228
His next project will focus on the Cuban Missile Crisis .