Stars in Their Courses: The Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1963 (Modern Library)

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A sense of history - The author presents a straight forward and accurate narrative of the events leading up to the battle at Gettysburg, the three days of battle and the rarely mentioned days of Confederate retreat back into Virginia. I had visited the battlefield at Gettysburg and at once was confused by the lines of battle, the names of the leading officers and overwhelmed by the details of the overall offensive. This book sets the reader straight and I highly recommend it as the prerequisite to a visit to the memorial battlefield. More importantly, as the author aptly states, in order to understand ourselves as the nation we have become and will be,we must first understand who we were and how this nation was shaped. This book is essential reading for those who care about those issues.
The perfect companion book to "Killer Angels" - The first Civil War book I ever read (not counting Stephen Crane's "Red Badge Of Courage" which I read back in the 10th grade), was Michael Shaara's "Killer Angels," an excellent book, moving and informative though somewhat discursive and lacking in as much battle detail as the reader may ultimately desire to know. That was by design as Shaara was seeking to show us the interior lives of the officers who fought at Gettysburg. In this sense "Killer Angels" is more like a novel than a history. "Stars In Their Courses" is a much more richly detailed - and not novelistic (though certainly not lacking in drama) - book, a book whose historical context is more fully exposed: each of the terrible interlocking events of those three days is exploded on the page so that we get a fuller appreciation of the totality of that battle, the "high-water mark of the Confederacy."I encourage anyone who is interested in furthering their...
Eloquently written accountof Battle of Gettysburg. - This book is drawn from the second volume of Shelby Foote's "The Civil War: A Narrative History." It is described on the book jacket as "the central chapter of the central volume, and therefore the capstone of the arch..."Written with the powerful and eloquent prose for which Shelby Foote is noted, "Stars In Their Courses" vividly describes the events of the first three days of July 1863, in what mant historians consider the "greatest battle in the history of the Western Hemisphere." The Battle of Gettysburg, in all its horror, fairly leaps from the pages of this book at the hands of Shelby Foote."Stars in Their Courses" is not only a wonderful preview of Foote's "The Civil War: A Narrative History," trilogy, but it also stands alone as one of the best accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg I have found. Highly recommended for any military history and Civil War enthusiast!