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Encyclopedia > The Killer Angels
The Killer Angels

The Killer Angels softcover edition Image File history File links The_Killer_Angels. ...

Author Michael Shaara
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Historical novel
Publication date 1974
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Preceded by Gods and Generals
Followed by The Last Full Measure

The Killer Angels (1974) is a historical novel by Michael Shaara that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975. The book tells the story of the four days of the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War: June 29, 1863, as the troops of both the Union and the Confederacy move into battle around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and July 1, July 2, and July 3, when the battle was fought. A film adaption of the novel, titled Gettysburg, was released in 1993. Michael Shaara (June 23, 1928 - May 5, 1988) was an American writer of science fiction, sports fiction, and historical fiction. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A historical novel a novel in which the story is set among historical events, or more generally, in which the time of the action predates the lifetime of the author. ... See also: 1973 in literature, other events of 1974, 1975 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... For other uses, see Gods and Generals (disambiguation). ... The Last Full Measure (published May 19, 1998 by Ballantine Books; ISBN 0345404912) is the sequel to The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals. ... See also: 1973 in literature, other events of 1974, 1975 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Michael Shaara (June 23, 1928 - May 5, 1988) was an American writer of science fiction, sports fiction, and historical fiction. ... The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded since 1948 for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. ... The year 1975 in literature involved some significant events and new books. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America Commanders George G. Meade Robert E. Lee Strength 93,921[1] 71,699[2] Casualties 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured/missing)[1] 23,231 (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured/missing... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial)  States that seceded under CSA control  States and territories claimed by CSA without formal secession and/or control Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia... Gettysburg is a borough 38 miles (68 km) south by southwest of Harrisburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA, of which it is the county seatGR6. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Gettysburg is a 1993 movie that dramatizes the decisive Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. ... The year 1993 in film involved many significant films. ...

Contents

Plot introduction

Layout of the book

Beginning with the famous section about Longstreet's spy Harrison gathering information about the movements and positions of the Federals, each day is told primarily from the perspectives of commanders of the two armies, including Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet for the Confederacy, and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and John Buford for the Union. Most chapters describe the emotion-laden decisions of these officers as they went into battle. Maps depicting the positioning of the troops as they went to battle, as they advanced, add to the sense of authenticity as decisions are made to advance and retreat with the armies. The author also uses the story of Gettysburg, the largest battle in the history of North America, to relate the causes of the Civil War and the motivations that led old friends to face each other on the battlefield. For other uses, see Robert E. Lee (disambiguation). ... James Longstreet (January 8, 1821 – January 2, 1904) was one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War, the principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his Old War Horse. ... Maj. ... John Buford, Jr. ... North American redirects here. ... The origins of the American Civil War lay in the complex problems of slavery, expansion, sectionalism, parties, and politics of the antebellum era. ...


Comparison

The novel is sometimes compared to Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage for its depiction of the war, but Shaara emphasizes the decisions, motivations, and actions of generals and colonels in the battle more than the common soldiers. Shaara explained that he was aiming to produce an epic military study modeled after William Shakespeare's Henry V. His choice for a specific subject was inspired by a family vacation that Shaara took to the site of the battle in 1966. Shaara's son Jeffrey Shaara expanded the story by adding a prequel, Gods and Generals and a sequel, The Last Full Measure. For the U.S. Continental Congress delegate, see Stephen Crane (delegate). ... The Red Badge of Courage (1895) is an impressionistic novel by Stephen Crane about the meaning of courage, as it is discovered by Henry Fleming, a recruit in the American Civil War. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Colonel (disambiguation). ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Title page of the first quarto (1600) Henry V, also known as The Cronicle History of Henry the fift, is a play by William Shakespeare based on the life of King Henry V of England. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... Jeffrey M. Shaara (born 1952) is an American novelist, the son of Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Shaara. ... For other uses, see Gods and Generals (disambiguation). ... The Last Full Measure (published May 19, 1998 by Ballantine Books; ISBN 0345404912) is the sequel to The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals. ...


Characters

For other uses, see Robert E. Lee (disambiguation). ... James Longstreet (January 8, 1821 – January 2, 1904) was one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War, the principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his Old War Horse. ... George Edward Pickett (January 28[1] or January 16, 1825 – July 30, 1875) was a career U.S. Army officer who became a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. ... Richard S. Ewell Richard Stoddert Ewell (February 8, 1817 – January 25, 1872) was a career U.S. Army officer and a Confederate general during the American Civil War. ... Ambrose Powell Hill (November 9, 1825 _ April 2, 1865), was a Confederate States of America general in the American Civil War. ... Possible portrait of Richard B. Garnett Richard Brooke Garnett (November 21, 1817 – July 3, 1863) was a career U.S. Army officer and a Confederate general in the American Civil War, killed during Picketts Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. ... James Ewell Brown Stuart (February 6, 1833 – May 12, 1864) was an American soldier from Virginia and a Confederate Army general during the American Civil War. ... For other uses, see Jubal Early (disambiguation). ... Lewis Addison Armistead (February 18, 1817 – July 5, 1863) was a Confederate brigadier general in the American Civil War, mortally wounded in Picketts Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. ... James L. Kemper James Lawson Kemper (June 11, 1823 – April 7, 1895) was a lawyer, a Confederate general in the American Civil War, and a governor of Virginia. ... John Bell Hood (June 1[1] or June 29,[2] 1831 – August 30, 1879) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. ... Henry Heth Henry Heth (December 16, 1825 – September 27, 1899) was a career U.S. Army officer and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. ... Arthur Fremantle General Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, GMCG, CB (November 1835 – 25 September 1901) was a British soldier, a member of Her Majestys Coldstream Guards, and a notable British witness to the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. ... Henry Thomas Harrison Henry Thomas Harrison (1832 – October 28, 1923), known to most simply as Harrison, was a spy for Confederate Lt. ... Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (September 8, 1828 – February 24, 1914) was a college professor from Maine who volunteered to join the Union Army without the benefit of any formal military education, and became a highly respected and decorated Union officer during the American Civil War, reaching the rank of brigadier general... We dont have an article called Thomas Chamberlain Start this article Search for Thomas Chamberlain in. ... Ellis Spear (October 15, 1834 – April 3, 1917) was an officer in the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment who rose to the rank of general during the American Civil War. ... John Buford, Jr. ... John Fulton Reynolds (September 20, 1820 – July 1, 1863) was a career U.S. Army officer and a general in the American Civil War. ... George Gordon Meade (December 31, 1815 – November 6, 1872) was a career U.S. Army officer and civil engineer involved in coastal construction, including several lighthouses. ... Winfield Scott Hancock (February 14, 1824 – February 9, 1886) was a career U.S. Army officer and the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 1880. ... Buster Kilrain is a fictional character in Michael Shaaras novel The Killer Angels. ...

Publication

Publication of The Killer Angels and release of the movie have had two significant influences on modern perceptions of the Civil War. First, the actions of Chamberlain and the 20th Maine Infantry on Little Round Top have achieved enormous public awareness. Visitors touring the Gettysburg Battlefield rank the 20th Maine monument as their most important stop. Second, since Shaara used the memoirs of General James Longstreet as a prime source for his history, the book has renewed the modern re-evaluation of Longstreet's reputation, damaged since the 1870s by the Lost Cause writers, such as Jubal A. Early. The 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment was a combat unit of the United States Army during the American Civil War, most famous for its defense of Little Round Top at the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. ... Little Round Top, western slope, photographed by Timothy H. OSullivan, 1863. ... Gettysburg Map The Gettysburg Battlefield was the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1 to July 3, 1863, in and around the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the county seat of Adams County, which had approximately 2,400 residents at the time. ... James Longstreet (January 8, 1821 – January 2, 1904) was one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War, the principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his Old War Horse. ... George Washington Custis Lee, 1832-1913, on horseback, with staff reviewing Confederate Reunion Parade in Richmond, Virginia, June 3, 1907, in front of monument to Jefferson Davis. ... Jubal Anderson Early (November 3, 1816 – March 2, 1894) was a lawyer and Confederate general in the American Civil War. ...


Literary significance & criticism

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf described The Killer Angels as "the best and most realistic historical novel about war that I have ever read." The filmmaker Ken Burns has mentioned the influence of the book in developing his interest in the Civil War and his subsequent production of the PBS series on the subject. The book has also been cited by Joss Whedon as the original inspiration for his science fiction/Western hybrid series Firefly. Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. ... Kenneth Lauren Burns (born July 29, 1953) is an American director and producer of documentary films known for his style of making use of original prints and photographs. ... Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ... Joss Hill Whedon (born Joseph Hill Whedon[3] on June 23, 1964 in New York) is an Academy Award-nominated American writer, director, executive producer, and creator of the well-known television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. ... Firefly is a science fiction television series that premiered on television in the United States and Canada on September 20, 2002. ...


Awards and nominations

The Killer Angels received the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


The Killer Angels has been required reading, at various times, at the US Army Officer Candidate School, The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, the US Army Command and General Staff College, the US Army War College, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. It is one of only two novels (the other being Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer) on the US Army's recommended reading list for Officer Professional Development; interestingly, the one common element in both novels is that Sam Elliott has a starring role, playing a US Army general officer, in the film adaptations of both. Once an Eagle is a nine hour American television mini-series released in 1976 and directed by Richard Michaels and E.W. Swackhamer. ... Samuel Pack Elliott (born August 9, 1944) is an American film and television actor. ...


Other media

The Killer Angels was a source for the screenplay for the 1993 movie, Gettysburg. Gettysburg is a 1993 movie that dramatizes the decisive Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. ...


The Firefly science fiction television series was developed by Joss Whedon after reading The Killer Angels. Homage to Shaara's novel was paid in the series' final episode, "Objects in Space". Singer-songwriter Steve Earle included a song on his 1999 bluegrass album, The Mountain, called Dixieland, sung from the point of view of the character Buster Kilrain. Firefly is an American science fiction television series created by writer/director Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, under his Mutant Enemy Productions. ... Joss Hill Whedon (born Joseph Hill Whedon[3] on June 23, 1964 in New York) is an Academy Award-nominated American writer, director, executive producer, and creator of the well-known television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. ... Objects in Space is the fourteenth and final episode of the science fiction television series Firefly created by Joss Whedon. ... Steve Earle (born Stephen Fain Earle January 17, 1955) is an American singer-songwriter, well known for his rock and country music, as well as for his political views. ... Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music. ... Album released in 1999 by Steve Earle and The Del McCoury Band. ...


A stage adaptation by Karen Tarjan was originally produced at Lifeline Theatre in Chicago in 2004. The adaptation was subsequently produced at Anchorage Community Theatre, The Wayside Theatre in Virginia and The Heritage Theatre in Maryland.


Further reading

  • Eishen, Thomas, Courage on Little Round Top, Skyward Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1-881554-38-4.
  • Hartwig, D. Scott, A Killer Angels Companion Thomas Publications, 1996, ISBN 0-939631-95-4.
  • Smithpeters, Jeff, To the Latest Generation: Post Cold War Civil War Novels in Their Contemporary Contexts, doctoral dissertation, Louisiana State University, 2005. The dissertation argues that The Killer Angels is a response to the Vietnam War and to a longing for the leadership of John F. and Robert F. Kennedy.
Awards
Preceded by
no award given (1974)
The Optimist's Daughter
by Eudora Welty (1973)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
1975
Succeeded by
Humboldt's Gift
by Saul Bellow
Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... John Kennedy and JFK redirect here. ... Robert Francis Bobby Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also called RFK, was one of two younger brothers of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and served as United States Attorney General from 1961 to 1964. ... We dont have an article called The Optimists Daughter Start this article Search for The Optimists Daughter in. ... Eudora Welty (b. ... The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded since 1948 for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. ... The year 1975 in literature involved some significant events and new books. ... Humboldts Gift is a 1975 novel by Saul Bellow, which won him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976. ... Saul Bellow, born Solomon Bellows, (Lachine, Quebec, Canada, June 10, 1915 – April 5, 2005 in Brookline, Massachusetts) was an acclaimed Canadian-born American writer. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara Information (667 words)
The Killer Angels (1974) is a historical novel by Michael Shaara that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975.
Norman Schwarzkopf described The Killer Angels as "the best and most realistic historical novel about war that I have ever read." The filmmaker Ken Burns has mentioned the influence of the book in developing his interest in the Civil War and his subsequent production of the PBS series on the subject.
The dissertation argues that The Killer Angels is a response to the Vietnam War and to a longing for the leadership of John F. and Robert F. Kennedy.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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