The Killer Angels


Author: Michael Shaara

Title: The Killer Angels

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 1974

Number of Pages: 35

Geographical Setting: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia

Time Period: June 30, 1863 – July 3,1863

Series (If applicable): NA

Plot Summary: Old friends and new enemies face one another across the battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania during four of the bloodiest days in American history. Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet butt heads over military stratagem as the untried Union regiment, the 20th Maine, led by Joshua L. Chamberlain learn the horrors of the battlefield. An insightful and informative narrative of the men who shaped the events that would turn the tide of a war and determine the fate of a nation.

Subject Headings: Civil War, Gettysburg, America, war stories, soldiers

Appeal: character-driven, strong secondary (characters), historical detail, accurate, descriptive, informative, well-researched, dense, realistic, insightful, unaffected, bleak

3 terms that best describe this book: character-driven, historical detail, insightful

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Through Blood and Fire at Gettysburg: General Joshua L. Chamberlain and the 20th Maine by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (first hand account of the Battle of Gettysburg from one of The Killer Angels’ main characters)

Stars in Their Courses by Shelby Foote (study of the 1863 Gettysburg campaign from the perspective of the soldier)

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson (one volume narrative account of the American Civil War that interweaves the political, military and social timelines of the Civil War)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Courage on Little Round Top by Thomas Eishen (novel of Joshua L. Chamberlain and the 20th Maine at Gettysburg; well-researched, realistic, accurate)

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (a Confederate deserter walks for months to return to the love of his life; character-driven, historical detail, realistic)

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield (Persian king Xerxes explores Spartan history and culture through the eyes of the lone Spartan survivor of the Battle of Thermopylae; character-driven, soldiers, realistic, insightful)

Denise Benson


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