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In the Pulitzer prize-winning classic The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara created the finest Civil War novel of our time. In the bestselling Gods and Generals, Shaara's son, Jeff, brilliantly sustained his father's vision, telling the epic story of the events culminating in the Battle of Gettysburg. Now, Jeff Shaara brings this legendary father-son trilogy to its stunning In the Pulitzer prize-winning classic The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara created the finest Civil War novel of our time. In the bestselling Gods and Generals, Shaara's son, Jeff, brilliantly sustained his father's vision, telling the epic story of the events culminating in the Battle of Gettysburg. Now, Jeff Shaara brings this legendary father-son trilogy to its stunning conclusion in a novel that brings to life the final two years of the Civil War. As The Last Full Measure opens, Gettysburg is past and the war advances to its third brutal year. On the Union side, the gulf between the politicians in Washington and the generals in the field yawns ever wider. Never has the cumbersome Union Army so desperately needed a decisive, hard-nosed leader. It is at this critical moment that Lincoln places Ulysses S. Grant in command--and turns the tide of war. For Robert E. Lee, Gettysburg was an unspeakable disaster--compounded by the shattering loss of the fiery Stonewall Jackson two months before. Lee knows better than anyone that the South cannot survive a war of attrition. But with the total devotion of his generals--Longstreet, Hill, Stuart--and his unswerving faith in God, Lee is determined to fight to the bitter end. Here too is Joshua Chamberlain, the college professor who emerged as the Union hero of Gettysburg--and who will rise to become one of the greatest figures of the Civil War. Battle by staggering battle, Shaara dramatizes the escalating confrontation between Lee and Grant--complicated, heroic, deeply troubled men. From the costly Battle of the Wilderness to the agonizing siege of Petersburg to Lee's epoch-making surrender at Appomattox, Shaara portrays the riveting conclusion of the Civil War through the minds and hearts of the individuals who gave their last full measure. Full of human passion and the spellbinding truth of history, The Last Full Measure is the fitting capstone to a magnificent literary trilogy. From the Hardcover edition.


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In the Pulitzer prize-winning classic The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara created the finest Civil War novel of our time. In the bestselling Gods and Generals, Shaara's son, Jeff, brilliantly sustained his father's vision, telling the epic story of the events culminating in the Battle of Gettysburg. Now, Jeff Shaara brings this legendary father-son trilogy to its stunning In the Pulitzer prize-winning classic The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara created the finest Civil War novel of our time. In the bestselling Gods and Generals, Shaara's son, Jeff, brilliantly sustained his father's vision, telling the epic story of the events culminating in the Battle of Gettysburg. Now, Jeff Shaara brings this legendary father-son trilogy to its stunning conclusion in a novel that brings to life the final two years of the Civil War. As The Last Full Measure opens, Gettysburg is past and the war advances to its third brutal year. On the Union side, the gulf between the politicians in Washington and the generals in the field yawns ever wider. Never has the cumbersome Union Army so desperately needed a decisive, hard-nosed leader. It is at this critical moment that Lincoln places Ulysses S. Grant in command--and turns the tide of war. For Robert E. Lee, Gettysburg was an unspeakable disaster--compounded by the shattering loss of the fiery Stonewall Jackson two months before. Lee knows better than anyone that the South cannot survive a war of attrition. But with the total devotion of his generals--Longstreet, Hill, Stuart--and his unswerving faith in God, Lee is determined to fight to the bitter end. Here too is Joshua Chamberlain, the college professor who emerged as the Union hero of Gettysburg--and who will rise to become one of the greatest figures of the Civil War. Battle by staggering battle, Shaara dramatizes the escalating confrontation between Lee and Grant--complicated, heroic, deeply troubled men. From the costly Battle of the Wilderness to the agonizing siege of Petersburg to Lee's epoch-making surrender at Appomattox, Shaara portrays the riveting conclusion of the Civil War through the minds and hearts of the individuals who gave their last full measure. Full of human passion and the spellbinding truth of history, The Last Full Measure is the fitting capstone to a magnificent literary trilogy. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for The Last Full Measure

  1. 4 out of 5

    Don Nelson

    Of the three books Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure - The Last Full Measure was, for me, the most painful. In this book the reader is introduced to Ulysses S. Grant and discovers the metal of the man. General Robert E. Lee continues to be the stalwart leader of the southern army. The reader comes to understand the passion of these men as well as the Union commander Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain who came away from Gettysburg a hero. Chamberlain is the only one of these Of the three books Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure - The Last Full Measure was, for me, the most painful. In this book the reader is introduced to Ulysses S. Grant and discovers the metal of the man. General Robert E. Lee continues to be the stalwart leader of the southern army. The reader comes to understand the passion of these men as well as the Union commander Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain who came away from Gettysburg a hero. Chamberlain is the only one of these three that was not a professional military man. He was an academic, a professor at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. It is in this volume that the reader is asked to endure the destruction of Lee's Army and the tole in human life that was involved. The reader is also pulled along through the mud and rain, made to understand what winter was like without coat or shoes. As the war drug on and supplies ran out, Lee had to face the terrible truth that the gallant men that had struggled and died for their cause were becoming less able bodied and fit to fight. He watched his army go hungry and practically naked. It was, for Lee the torment he could not get free from. The reader also feels the strength of Grant. He, the consummate commander, always moving forward and even when knocked back by the Confederate will to win, Grant regrouped and drove forward or around or through those that opposed his forces. Not once did I feel that Grant doubted his purpose or mission or that it would be accomplished. His field commanders, like Chamberlain, were willing to carry out the orders he issued because they trusted his talent and judgement. The pain that I felt came from the fact that a proud and dedicated Robert E. Lee could not withstand the punishing force that Grant wielded. There was a dogged desire within the Confederate Army to continue to fight - to perhaps find that one miracle on the field of battle. It was not to be. Lee came to understand that his was the losing cause. Grant, also recognized that the time to stop killing was at hand. Both Armies and the Nation had lost too many of their Husbands, Fathers, Sons and Brothers.It was time to stop. If you are wanting to read a work that puts you inside the minds and lives of the men and the families of the men that commanded the fields of battle - this is one book you have to read. The entire trilogy is a work I highly recommend.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    “If God is watching us, what judgement does he make now?” With the completion of “The Last Full Measure”, I have read every novel that Mr. Shaara has written (to date) about the American Civil War. Oddly enough, even though this text was written second out of his six books about the Civil War, the writing might be the best of the group. Less stilted, and ponderous as some of the others could be at times. Mr. Shaara is at this best when writing about battle. He puts you there in a vivid and very ma “If God is watching us, what judgement does he make now?” With the completion of “The Last Full Measure”, I have read every novel that Mr. Shaara has written (to date) about the American Civil War. Oddly enough, even though this text was written second out of his six books about the Civil War, the writing might be the best of the group. Less stilted, and ponderous as some of the others could be at times. Mr. Shaara is at this best when writing about battle. He puts you there in a vivid and very matter of fact manner. He does not comment on what is happening. You can figure that out for yourself. His depiction of the Battle of the Crater during the siege of Petersburg is riveting and heartbreaking. I plowed through the text at a quick pace, and this text is told mainly from the point of view of Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Joshua Chamberlain. Highlights of the book include chapter 52, which is the fateful meeting between Lee and Grant at Appomattox Court House where Lee surrenders his army. The chapter is told from Grant’s point of view and gives an interesting insight into the mind of the victor when he respects his enemy. Chapter 53 is simply beautiful. It depicts the events of April 12, 1865 the actual surrender ceremony between the two armies. The sentiments in the mind of the Union victors, which we get from the point of view of Josh Chamberlain during the ceremony, are of reconciliation and peace. It is beautiful to read and think on. If you enjoy historical fiction, especially military historical fiction I would give Mr. Shaara a read. “The Last Full Measure” is one of his better efforts. I did not often want to put it down.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    “Ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times.” When the armies of the North and the South walked away from the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863, the victor was clear, but you wouldn't have known by the casualty numbers alone. 50,000 men had been killed, wounded, or captured over those three days, roughly an equal loss for each side. Michael Shaara (Jeff's father) wrote about this battle in his book, The Killer Angels, and I had wondered why he chose that point in time to focus a nar “Ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times.” When the armies of the North and the South walked away from the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863, the victor was clear, but you wouldn't have known by the casualty numbers alone. 50,000 men had been killed, wounded, or captured over those three days, roughly an equal loss for each side. Michael Shaara (Jeff's father) wrote about this battle in his book, The Killer Angels, and I had wondered why he chose that point in time to focus a narrative about our Civil War. Why write a book about one battle, spanning only 3 days during a war that had lasted 4-years? The answer is: it was the turning point. It also marked the first time that General Lee's soldiers had been truly repelled by the Union Army. If the North had lost that battle, the final outcome of the war, and our country could have been very different. Jeff Shaara separates the individual parts of The Last Full Measure with sentences from the short, yet inspiring and elegant address delivered on the grounds of the Gettysburg battle. ”Four score and seven years ago... And he brings the point of those words home, their meaning in Lincoln's mind, throughout the book. Lincoln believed in those words completely because he believed in our country. That this nation of ours was founded upon something altogether meaningful. That the words liberty and equal written on our Declaration should not be placed in jeopardy by separation. Men had given their lives and for that they should be honored. For the North, victory on the battlefields did not come immediately after Gettysburg. General Lee was too smart, and the men of the South fought with heart for their way of life. The Union army continued to hamper themselves with mistakes that cost lives. But the style of battle forever changed after July 1863. Trench warfare replaces mass frontal assault. Generals would be slow to adapt to this, but it's the soldier in the field that faces the musket. Their bravery is astounding to me. Picturing the thoughts of Lee, Grant and Chamberlain (and through them, the many individuals who fought this war) are what make these books special to read. Men may have stood on opposing sides but often their thoughts said, "he is no different from me". I came to adore these books for the truth in words like that. At one point, long after the war had ended, Chamberlain walks where he and his men fought at Gettysburg, on a hill called Little Round Top. He remembers his men: ”...But he knew better than any that it was not the generals, not some singular work of genius or valor. If the men, the privates, the men with the muskets, did not want to go forward, there would be no great fights, no chapter in the history books, no generals to wear the medals.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sotiris Karaiskos

    The third and last book of this trilogy and the one I liked less. There are, of course, some of the good elements of the other two books, the descriptions of the battles are good enough and there is a lot of effort from the author to show the human side of the protagonists, but it also has several weaknesses. The author chooses to deal more with these battles of the last year of the American Civil War and because there are so many there is not so much room for the characters and their feelings, The third and last book of this trilogy and the one I liked less. There are, of course, some of the good elements of the other two books, the descriptions of the battles are good enough and there is a lot of effort from the author to show the human side of the protagonists, but it also has several weaknesses. The author chooses to deal more with these battles of the last year of the American Civil War and because there are so many there is not so much room for the characters and their feelings, opposed to what happens in the other two books, but even when he has that room the writer does not manage to deepen enough to them. Something similar, however, is also the case with the battles, the writer has such anxiety to squeeze as much as possible of them that in the end their description is rather hurried. So it's a book that definitely has some positive things but it suffers a lot compared to the other books of this trilogy.   Το τρίτο και τελευταίο βιβλίο αυτής της τριλογίας και αυτό που μου άρεσε λιγότερο. Έχει, βέβαια, κάποια από τα καλά στοιχεία των άλλων δύο βιβλίων, οι περιγραφές των μαχών είναι αρκετά καλές ενώ υπάρχει και αρκετή προσπάθεια από το συγγραφέα για να δείξει την ανθρώπινη πλευρά των πρωταγωνιστών, έχει, όμως, και αρκετές αδυναμίες. Ο συγγραφέας επιλέγει να ασχοληθεί περισσότερο με αυτές τις μάχες του τελευταίου χρόνου του αμερικανικού εμφυλίου πολέμου και επειδή είναι τόσες πολλές δεν μένει πολύς χώρος για τους χαρακτήρες και τα συναισθήματά τους, σε αντίθεση με ότι συμβαίνει στα άλλα δύο βιβλία., αλλά ακόμα και όταν αυτός ο χώρος υπάρχει ο συγγραφέας δεν καταφέρνει να εμβαθύνει αρκετά σε αυτούς. Κάτι ανάλογο, όμως, συμβαίνει και με τις μάχες, ο συγγραφέας έχει τέτοια αγωνία να στριμώξει όσο το δυνατόν περισσότερες από αυτές που στο τέλος η περιγραφή τους γίνεται μάλλον βιαστικά. Οπότε πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο που έχει σίγουρα κάποια θετικά στοιχεία αλλά πάσχει πολύ σε σύγκριση με τα άλλα βιβλία αυτής της τριλογίας.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Pearl

    "The Last Full Measure" is the final book in the Civil War trilogy by the Shaaras. Michael Shaara, the father, started it all when he wrote wrote the Pulitzer-Prize winning "The Killer Angels" about the battle at Gettysburg. He passed away before he could write more. His son Jeff then wrote about events leading up to Gettysburg and next what followed after Gettysburg. Is "The Last Full Measure" as good as "The Killer Angels"? Not quite, but perhaps that's not even a fair question. "The Killer Ang "The Last Full Measure" is the final book in the Civil War trilogy by the Shaaras. Michael Shaara, the father, started it all when he wrote wrote the Pulitzer-Prize winning "The Killer Angels" about the battle at Gettysburg. He passed away before he could write more. His son Jeff then wrote about events leading up to Gettysburg and next what followed after Gettysburg. Is "The Last Full Measure" as good as "The Killer Angels"? Not quite, but perhaps that's not even a fair question. "The Killer Angels" covers a four-day battle, with the focus on two days. "The Last Full Measure" covers the two years following Gettysburg to Lee's surrender at Appomattox. As did his father, Jeff Shaara writes about these war years by focusing on a few key characters. The history is meticulously researched; the inner thoughts of these characters and their conversations are imagined, but very plausible. Several key battles are brought to life: the second Battle of the Wilderness, the disastrous plan of the earthworks, the slaughter at Cold Harbor and Grant's enormous regret, the rush to Spotsylvania, and the siege of Petersburg. (Not a comprehensive listing) Throughout these battles, we see Lee's weary but indomitable spirit and the devotion of his army, although they were badly outnumbered; and we see Grant's dogged determination to prevail and the gradual realization of his army that this General would not retreat, as had so many of their leaders before him. We also see a gratified Lincoln: he had finally found a General who was not overly cautious, who would press forward unafraid. Lincoln, in turn, gave Grant his full support and confidence. By contrast, we see a rather ungrateful, unrealistic and perhaps self-centered Jefferson Davis, who believed the war was to save HIS capital, and who refused to see that the rag-tag, starving Confederate Army could no longer hold out. I found the depictions of both Lee and Grant fascinating. Lee is deeply religious; he is stubborn in his belief that God is on the side of the South and he finds that belief hard to reconcile with the loss of many of his best generals - Jackson, Stuart, A.P. Hill and others - and with his ultimate need to admit defeat. But only with the greatest dignity. Grant is a rougher-hewn character; but he is a humble, unpretentious man of great courage, determination, and honor. His generous terms for the South when they suffer defeat by his hand and Lee's dignified surrender are told movingly. They and their armies indeed gave their last full measure. Reading this account, we do believe that this government must not perish from the earth. There are several more characters worthy of mention (Chamberlain, for example), but you will have to read the book yourself. A glimpse into the home life of Lee, Grant, and Chamberlain is very interesting. Hint: Grant had the happiest marriage of the three. My only criticisms are that the book is too long (600 pages), we are inside the generals' heads too much and too often. The pace becomes slow, even a bit sluggish at times, and the emotions portrayed quite repetitious. How often do I need to read about the "hot anger," "the gut churning," and the "red face"? I think nothing would have been lost by editing out about 100 pages and the writing could be crisper. Yet, this telling of the final two years of the Civil War is an enormous accomplishment.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pickle Farmer

    This is how the majority of the characters talk in this book: "There are.... a lot...... of periods...... in between..... words...." I read the first 150-200 pages or so of this with such gusto! It wasn't as good as "The Killer Angels," obviously, but it was perfectly readable and exciting. Then things got sluggish. Chapter after chapter where absolutely nothing of importance or interest happenned. A battle was fought. Generals muse on death and destruction. Chamberlain is non-existent; there is This is how the majority of the characters talk in this book: "There are.... a lot...... of periods...... in between..... words...." I read the first 150-200 pages or so of this with such gusto! It wasn't as good as "The Killer Angels," obviously, but it was perfectly readable and exciting. Then things got sluggish. Chapter after chapter where absolutely nothing of importance or interest happenned. A battle was fought. Generals muse on death and destruction. Chamberlain is non-existent; there is absolutely no purpose or point to him being in this story, other than to please TKA fans. Things I would edit about this book to make it better: - Yunior should have just picked 2-3 battles: the Battle of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor/Petersburg, and the surrender at Appotomax. There, you have your 3-part book instead of your 500-something borefest. Maybe he was afraid of following in his father's footsteps too much, but there's a reason why "The Killer Angels" was so good: it was thematically condensed as opposed to sprawling and messy. - IT IS OKAY TO MAKE YOUR NARRATORS UNSYMPATHETIC CHARACTERS. I have a *big* problem with how U.S. Grant was portrayed here. His narative voice is bland and uninteresting. If I were asked "what kind of character is Grant?" I would have no idea how to answer. Boring, maybe. I couldn't get through the last 70 pages, so I just skimmed them. *SPOILER* Lincoln dies. The South loses the war. *SPOILER* You should read the first part of the book until you get bored, the Petersburg chapter, and the chapter where Lee freaks out about being sent gunpowder from Richmond instead of food for his starving soldiers. Maybe I'm being too hard on this book--I feel like I definitely learned a lot about the final days of the Civil War and why the South ultimately lost, but I have to be honest: it became torturous for me to get to the end. I dreaded having to pick this book up and try to read another chapter. Now what's the sense in that?

  7. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    The Last Full Measure takes its title from words in Lincoln’ indescribable Gettysburg Address:“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died i The Last Full Measure takes its title from words in Lincoln’ indescribable Gettysburg Address:“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain...”It also concludes the trilogy begun by Shaara’s father (in The Killer Angels about the Battle of Gettysburg) although sequentially Gods and Generals tells the story of the beginning of the Civil War. TLFM is in many ways a tragic book and can be emotionally exhausting at times—as was the draining of the nation’s lifeblood which occurred at the end of the war tearing our nation apart yet as it yet cemented it together again. But if we are weary spectators of the carnage as we read, we at least didn’t have to live through it. To read Shaara’s well-documented and yet fascinating and unforgettable novel is to walk beside our national ancestors and share (in a very small way) in their sufferings. It wasn’t much, but it was a worthwhile journey for me. Most highly recommended!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mom

    I still enjoyed the historical information but I did not care for his writing style--it lacks the flair for writing in comparison to his father's book. He overuses phrases of his own making that often confuse the reader left not knowing who he is talking about or who is doing the talking. Sometimes the pace flows and keeps the reader interested, and other times it lags on and on to the point of frustration. He tries to describe the feelings of the characters when he couldn't possibly know what w I still enjoyed the historical information but I did not care for his writing style--it lacks the flair for writing in comparison to his father's book. He overuses phrases of his own making that often confuse the reader left not knowing who he is talking about or who is doing the talking. Sometimes the pace flows and keeps the reader interested, and other times it lags on and on to the point of frustration. He tries to describe the feelings of the characters when he couldn't possibly know what was going in their minds. I appreciate that he was trying to create a picture for us of what it would have been like, but much of it was unbelievable. And I am only referring to the parts that we don't already know as facts from other memoirs and letters. This could be a very good book if those run-on parts were edited from the book. The historical facts are laid out in a well-conceived format that helps us understand the timeline in which the war unfolded. It is this part of the book that will probably persuade me to keep it on my shelf and possibly read it again.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Ligon

    A fitting conclusion to an excellent Civil War trilogy. While Jeff Shaara isn't quite as good a writer as his father Michael ("Killer Angels"), he still does a great job of capturing the look and feel of the scenes and characters. Shaara's portrayal of General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is particularly compelling. Few moments in American history are as tragic or as poignant as the surrender at Appomattox Court House and the events leading up to it, and Shaara tells that story masterfully. Great A fitting conclusion to an excellent Civil War trilogy. While Jeff Shaara isn't quite as good a writer as his father Michael ("Killer Angels"), he still does a great job of capturing the look and feel of the scenes and characters. Shaara's portrayal of General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is particularly compelling. Few moments in American history are as tragic or as poignant as the surrender at Appomattox Court House and the events leading up to it, and Shaara tells that story masterfully. Great book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    R.F. Gammon

    *sighs* honestly, I just...don’t like this book. It’s great, and I love the Killer Angels, the one written by Michael Shaara. But something about his son, who wrote this book, just manages to drive me crazy, and I’m not sure why. This book is too long to scream through. XD

  11. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    Picking up shortly after the events of Gettysburg depicted in The Killer Angels, this novel takes us all the way through the rest of the Civil War, concentrating mostly on the battles in the East, the grand struggle between the newly promoted and positioned US Grant and the steady Robert E. Lee. Indeed, most of the book alters perspectives between the two leaders as well as presenting the viewpoint of Joshua Chamberlain, unlikely hero of Gettysburg and a man who had a Forest Gump-like ability to Picking up shortly after the events of Gettysburg depicted in The Killer Angels, this novel takes us all the way through the rest of the Civil War, concentrating mostly on the battles in the East, the grand struggle between the newly promoted and positioned US Grant and the steady Robert E. Lee. Indeed, most of the book alters perspectives between the two leaders as well as presenting the viewpoint of Joshua Chamberlain, unlikely hero of Gettysburg and a man who had a Forest Gump-like ability to be in the right place at the right time, culminating in his being the man to whom the South first attempts to surrender at Appomattox at the end of the war. There is an awful lot of history to cover here and even though this book weighs in at over 600 pages, the author had to choose his scenes carefully to be able to present the larger story. For example, we spend a lot of time in the Battle of the Wilderness because it is relevant to the three main characters, Grant, Lee, and Chamberlain. But we only hear about Sherman and his march across Georgia as well as important battles such as at Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Similarly, we don’t see much at all on the political scene; Lincoln makes a few appearances but only when riding out to meet Grant in the field. Jefferson Davis is only on stage one time. No, this book strives to bring us into the action, and show us the brutality of the battles, the hopes and frustrations of the men. Parts of it were very difficult to work through, particularly those from the South’s perspective in the final third of the book when the outcome of the war becomes all but inevitable and the armies are in desperate straits. At times I felt as drug through the mud, worn out and starving as the soldiers did. We do get a lot of personal musings on the nature of man and war from all three main POV figures and while insightful, I felt the story dragged a little too much in some areas and it is for this reason that I took off one star on my rating. But the final scenes of the surrender between Lee and Grant were so well done that I was on the edge of my seat, despite knowing the outcome. I also enjoyed gaining some insight on several of the lesser known historical leaders on the battlefield and just what a huge impact the sudden loss of one man could be. This is the concluding volume in an unusually developed Civil War trilogy. The middle book, The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara, was the first book written, won the Pulitzer Prize and is generally regarded as among the finest novels on any aspect of the Civil War ever written. After Michael’s death, his son, Jeff Shaara picked up the mantle and wrote the prequel, Gods and Generals, as well as this sequel, forming a complete trilogy. Many readers can’t seem to get past the fact that although they are father and son, Jeff and Michael are two different authors. Many say that Jeff doesn’t fill his father’s shoes and some seem to go so far as to say “how dare he try to capitalize on his father’s accomplishments!” Well, to each his own I suppose. I will say that 'The Killer Angels' was a great read but I believe that Jeff also writes a damn fine war novel and has gone on to a great career as an historical fiction author. I’ve read most of his books and am never disappointed. As an armchair historian and one who is especially interested in the Civil War, I highly recommend all three books in this trilogy, no matter the author.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jackson

    This work suffers from the same flaws as God and Generals. Shaara simply fails to reproduce the genius of his father. The only book in this trilogy that needs to be read is Michael Shaara's original "The Killer Angels." This work suffers from the same flaws as God and Generals. Shaara simply fails to reproduce the genius of his father. The only book in this trilogy that needs to be read is Michael Shaara's original "The Killer Angels."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    this three piece series on the civil war was the best books I have ever read on the subject especially the last one . It was so good I did not want to put it down not like reading a history book but a good story. By the end of the book you felt as if you knew each man personally. I highly recommend this to anyone who has a love of history.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Enjoyed rereading this one to prepare for our trip to Virginia and Washington DC in October

  15. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    The predecessor of this book (The Killer Angels) far surpasses The Last Full Measure in most ways - tightness of storyline, style, prose, illustration and delivery of key facts - but, nevertheless, I enjoyed Jeff Shaara's game attempt to conclude the Civil War story in his father's image. As a "foreigner", I don't have the inculcated knowledge of the War that US students undoubtedly absorb from their earliest school years, so I found the book very helpful in establishing the timeline of events, a The predecessor of this book (The Killer Angels) far surpasses The Last Full Measure in most ways - tightness of storyline, style, prose, illustration and delivery of key facts - but, nevertheless, I enjoyed Jeff Shaara's game attempt to conclude the Civil War story in his father's image. As a "foreigner", I don't have the inculcated knowledge of the War that US students undoubtedly absorb from their earliest school years, so I found the book very helpful in establishing the timeline of events, and geographical juxtaposition of the major locations, of the second half of the unfathomable conflict. I read the book ahead of an imminent holiday to include visits to some of the battlefields. I will find the information provided and animation of the principal players excellent background to my visit. I do think that the author did draw out the book a little, and relied on " the hand of God" theme overly much, but I'm probably looking for a reason to rate the book a little less than its excellent antecedent. I recommend the book to Civil War buffs, but make sure you read The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara first.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gilda Felt

    Shaara does a great job in pulling the reader into the conflict as each battle plays out. The growing desperation of the South, as its supplies give out and its numbers dwindle, the growing confidence of the North, which iswell supplied and with an almost unending supply of men. Each is vividly drawn. The same descriptions could be used for its leaders. Lee has to watch while his men go hungry, dressed practically in rags, and wonder when enough will be enough. Grant has the full force of the Nor Shaara does a great job in pulling the reader into the conflict as each battle plays out. The growing desperation of the South, as its supplies give out and its numbers dwindle, the growing confidence of the North, which iswell supplied and with an almost unending supply of men. Each is vividly drawn. The same descriptions could be used for its leaders. Lee has to watch while his men go hungry, dressed practically in rags, and wonder when enough will be enough. Grant has the full force of the North’s riches, in both supplies and men, and knows how to use them. Gradually it comes to both how inevitable the North’s win is. The book is a wonderful conclusion to this magnificent trilogy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John

    Excellent finish to a remarkable trilogy. Anyone who has a passing knowledge of the Civil War needs to read this set of books. It is an exciting and well told story which will certainly lead me to reading more about this period in US history. Start with Killer Angels. Gods and Generals was good and The Last Full Measure was an amazing way to bring it to the end.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    This was the final book in Jeff Shaara 's Civil War Trilogy. I read it slowly and thoughtfully and came away from the experience actually feeling heartbreak and sadness for Robert E. Lee and his men. This is what makes Shaara's storytelling so unique: Through the entire series he never "took a side", he told the story of the Civil War through the eyes of the men that lived it, introduced you to their family and friends and made each soldier a human being that you felt you knew. I was sorry to tu This was the final book in Jeff Shaara 's Civil War Trilogy. I read it slowly and thoughtfully and came away from the experience actually feeling heartbreak and sadness for Robert E. Lee and his men. This is what makes Shaara's storytelling so unique: Through the entire series he never "took a side", he told the story of the Civil War through the eyes of the men that lived it, introduced you to their family and friends and made each soldier a human being that you felt you knew. I was sorry to turn the last page and now this journey was at end. Then, while on vacation last week, my husband commented that I had been reading this series since our first camping trip in May. Was it that good? And now, my husband-the non-reader(*English as a second language is hard for him*) has picked up Gods and Generals to begin the series, that makes me happy! Shaara has written another series dubbed "The Western Front" (who knew that anything west of Virginia was called that?) of the Civil War. I look forward to starting it and learning more about Sherman and some others barely mentioned in this first series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Jones

    I really love this writing. Admittedly not as poignant or magical as Killer Angels, but I felt both very informed about the Overland Campaign and the personalities of Grant and Lee. The civil war continues to fascinate me, and I’m excited to read more on Reconstruction. I think the person I admire most is Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, who embodies every aspect of respectability I can imagine: humble, intelligent, clever, empathetic. Jeff Shaara does his father, and the generals he fictionalizes p I really love this writing. Admittedly not as poignant or magical as Killer Angels, but I felt both very informed about the Overland Campaign and the personalities of Grant and Lee. The civil war continues to fascinate me, and I’m excited to read more on Reconstruction. I think the person I admire most is Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, who embodies every aspect of respectability I can imagine: humble, intelligent, clever, empathetic. Jeff Shaara does his father, and the generals he fictionalizes poetic justice in this final book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    This classic trilogy was enjoyable and satisfying to read. Gods and Generals: 4.5 Killer Angels: 5.0 The Last Full Measure: 4.0

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arthur

    Jeff has the ability to bring the reader to the period. To understand the human factors. Enjoyable to listen to (audio book).

  22. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is a more than satisfying conclusion to the Shaara family Civil War Trilogy that chronologically begins with Jeff's "Gods and Generals", and continued with his late father Michael's masterful account of Gettysburg in the "Killer Angels". While the previous books focused on four narrators each, this third book by Jeff Shaara drops the count down to three, and for the most part two. If there is a flaw to this book, it is that we are not given enough of the fascinating and admirable Joshua Cha This is a more than satisfying conclusion to the Shaara family Civil War Trilogy that chronologically begins with Jeff's "Gods and Generals", and continued with his late father Michael's masterful account of Gettysburg in the "Killer Angels". While the previous books focused on four narrators each, this third book by Jeff Shaara drops the count down to three, and for the most part two. If there is a flaw to this book, it is that we are not given enough of the fascinating and admirable Joshua Chamberlain. Primarily it is Grant and Lee who show us the war from Gettysburg through its conclusion and beyond. Shaara writes wonderfully, and the reader can feel the inexorable march towards the inevitable conclusion. I love how this book inspires by bringing out the qualities of tenacity in the characters: Of Grant who, although constantly outmaneuvered by Lee, just won't go away, and eventually wears out the South; of Lee, who won't give up even though he's heavily outnumbered and his men are starving or deserting; Of Chamberlain, who keeps getting wounded but comes back again. When the scene finally arrives where Lee surrenders to Grant and then when the South lays down arms to Chamberlain...this is so touchingly written that I could not help be teary-eyed throughout this passage. Excellent writing and an excellent trilogy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Jeff Shaara completes the Civil War three-book sandwich he and his father wrote, wrapping up the tales from the bloodiest war in which the United States had been involved up to that point. Shaara's storytelling takes the reader inside the lines of troops, generals, battle plans, and even strategies to defeat the other side. He illustrates the progress of both sides by personalising the story, using characters on both sides of the fighting to bring a more complete and in-depth analysis and presen Jeff Shaara completes the Civil War three-book sandwich he and his father wrote, wrapping up the tales from the bloodiest war in which the United States had been involved up to that point. Shaara's storytelling takes the reader inside the lines of troops, generals, battle plans, and even strategies to defeat the other side. He illustrates the progress of both sides by personalising the story, using characters on both sides of the fighting to bring a more complete and in-depth analysis and presentation of the facts. While the audiobook narration of the book left much to be desired, I was quite impressed with the story and the detail Shaara invested to give the reader the best possible presentation of the war. Not being American, I use storytellers like Shaara to explain the intricate details of the happenings and to do so in such a way that I can understand and feel the 'full picture' is on display, instead of a one-sided depiction. Shaara is known for this, bringing wars to life and not candy coating them. The true gruesome nature of the battles is not lost, but it is also not the ONLY thing in which Shaara takes an interest. While there seems to be a fourth book that return to the Civil War, I was pleased wityh the trilogy and how both Shaaras laid out the characters, keeping the continuity there, over the decades between writings. Kudos to them both!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bob Matter

    I read about half of this book, then set it down to read something else, and then another something else, and then another, etc. The first half was interesting, and I had read the first two books of the trilogy ("Killer Angels" and "Gods and Generals"), so I wanted to finish it. Three years later, I have. And am I glad I did. The last third or so of the book was a detailed account of the last weeks and days of the Army of the Potomac (Grant) vs. the Army of Virginia (Robert E. Lee). Shaara bring I read about half of this book, then set it down to read something else, and then another something else, and then another, etc. The first half was interesting, and I had read the first two books of the trilogy ("Killer Angels" and "Gods and Generals"), so I wanted to finish it. Three years later, I have. And am I glad I did. The last third or so of the book was a detailed account of the last weeks and days of the Army of the Potomac (Grant) vs. the Army of Virginia (Robert E. Lee). Shaara brings the major characters vividly to life, and makes you feel like you know them and their personalities and are right there beside them in their tents and in the battlefields. At times Shaara's writing about the battles and the sacrifices by men on both sides of the war will bring you to tears. This book left me with a much deeper understanding of the Civil War and the people on both sides whose lives it touched. I highly recommend this trilogy to anyone interested in the Civil War.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This book was good but brutal. So much fighting and sadness. The civil war was an awful time period. I did like reading about both sides and the positive and negatives that both sides had. A good read if you really want to know everything about every battle in the civil war. Favorite quotes: - pg 505- “you just go about your work and your duty with absolute honesty, you fight for something you believe in without any other motive. Lee simply did not believe he was ever wrong, or would ever lose. Y This book was good but brutal. So much fighting and sadness. The civil war was an awful time period. I did like reading about both sides and the positive and negatives that both sides had. A good read if you really want to know everything about every battle in the civil war. Favorite quotes: - pg 505- “you just go about your work and your duty with absolute honesty, you fight for something you believe in without any other motive. Lee simply did not believe he was ever wrong, or would ever lose. You don’t create honor, it creates you.” -Chamberlain Pg 509- chamberlain saw the faces again, the men in the road looking up at the flag, thought Yes, it is still yours...it always has been yours. Despite all you have done, all of the death and the horror, the anger and the hatred. You have proven you will fight and for something that you believe in. That is exactly what this flag means, has always meant.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matthew T

    The Last Full Measure was a wonderful book to read. Jeff Shaara lives up to the reputation he developed in his first book of the trilogy Gods and Generals. The writing style is very similar to his father's style that was shown in the second book of the trilogy that he wrote. It is important to realize that both Gods and Generals as well as this book were written after the second book of the trilogy, The Killer Angels. After having read all three you can clearly see the differences in writing sty The Last Full Measure was a wonderful book to read. Jeff Shaara lives up to the reputation he developed in his first book of the trilogy Gods and Generals. The writing style is very similar to his father's style that was shown in the second book of the trilogy that he wrote. It is important to realize that both Gods and Generals as well as this book were written after the second book of the trilogy, The Killer Angels. After having read all three you can clearly see the differences in writing styles from father to son, but both complement the other. Without a doubt, the main goal of this book is to provide the reader with an immersive and personal view of the Civil War. In fact, I had not realized this until looking briefly into the background of the book, but the name itself is taken from a passage of the Gettysburg address where President Lincoln says “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion." This is a subtle nod to that address and helps to remind the reader of the reality of the events depicted. It is not meant to be like most history books that only state the facts but is meant to draw the reader in and make history feel personal. In doing so it is able to appeal to a much broader audience than your standard history buff. By making history personal, he succeeded in making it engaging. His argument throughout this book is very similar to the arguments he made in Gods and Generals as well as the arguments that his father made in The Killer Angels. In fact, the argument he makes is what dominates this trilogy. That argument is that these were people with their own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, flaws, and allegiances. They are not just faces in a history textbook you had to read in middle school. His argument is that the war is not as simple as many books make it out to be. In expressing this he succeeds. This book is set in the final two years of the war and this dramatically affects the tone. It takes on a much darker, more serious view of the war than its predecessors. Gone is the jubilation on both sides that we had seen previously. This is because at this point in time the once energetic armies have been worn down. The previously strong emotions on both sides have been replaced with despair and gloom as they have both seen so much violence. The southern side is loosing hope and as the book progresses we see them slip further and further into a state of despair. They slowly begin to lose everything and the author is able to show the conflict within General Lee as he sees his once proud army change in front of his eyes. On the union side, the situation is less bleak. Through Grant, we see a burning desire to win and end the war despite the human costs that he is inflicting on his army. The Union army is more upbeat than the Confederates, but we still see their fair share of troubles. As the book progresses we see both men loosing their desire to continue the conflict. For one this is because he is seeing his home and army gradually destroyed. Lee knows that many of his troops would fight on until the bitter end. But he wants to avoid further loss of life. This comes from his love of his men. He has seen his once triumphant army reduced to retreating barefoot in terrible weather. He has seen them suffer defeat after defeat for very little gain. When pressed by some young men in his army to let them become guerilla fighters he refuses, telling them the war is lost and that their best course of action now is to rebuild the south. Grant on the other hand also wants the war to end, but he wants victory. In doing this, so he sacrifices large numbers of his own men in order to win victories. Simply put, unlike his predecessors he will not stop. Both generals recognize the immense human toll that the war has caused and both ultimately want it to end. Each side has been beaten and bruised throughout, this was and all of this together makes this book the darkest and gloomiest of the three. However, this setting and the examples above do help to drive his argument home. You can’t help but sympathize with the characters present. Perhaps it's the gloomy situation, but it makes them seem all the more personal. We are able to read their thoughts as they struggle through the closing days of the conflicts and see their pain. Truly, if this book was set in a different time period or meant to stand alone, it might be less personal. The contrast between it and the other books in the series also emphasizes this because we see how these characters have changed. The scene at Appomattox is one of the deepest in this trilogy as we see both sides humbly engage the other and eventually come to terms. You have to feel some respect for them both because ultimately they were people, and we know they wanted different outcomes and arguably neither side won. The author is very effective in supporting his argument as explained above. I would have to give this book a five-star rating. Shaara is just a wonderful writer, and he succeeds greatly in his goal. He has thoroughly researched the events depicted and is able to show them in their fullest while ensuring that they are both accurate and personal for the reader. This is a remarkable feat in my opinion. My takeaway from this book and trilogy as a whole is that the Civil War was complicated. It was not black and white as some might claim. Both sides fought for their own reasons with their own goals. The generals on both sides also did care for their men in their own unique way. In summary, it was a brutal conflict that pitted family against each other and almost destroyed our country. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and would also recommend the other two books in the trilogy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rafe

    I loved Michael Shaara's book about Gettysburg, The Killer Angels, and so it was with a lot of anticipation (and a bit of anxiety) that I started reading his son Jeff's companion volumes. Overall, I don't like them. I wish I did. I want to, very much. But I keep finding them overwritten, too much telling, not enough showing, and sometimes so sprawling and incoherent that I, someone who has studied the Civil War in detail and knows a fair amount about it, have trouble keeping track of who is doin I loved Michael Shaara's book about Gettysburg, The Killer Angels, and so it was with a lot of anticipation (and a bit of anxiety) that I started reading his son Jeff's companion volumes. Overall, I don't like them. I wish I did. I want to, very much. But I keep finding them overwritten, too much telling, not enough showing, and sometimes so sprawling and incoherent that I, someone who has studied the Civil War in detail and knows a fair amount about it, have trouble keeping track of who is doing what where. I should not have that problem. What is Jeff Shaara good at, though? His Civil War travel book. It shows evidence of a storytelling gene that his novels lack, and lots of useful information besides.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Just arrived from USA trough BM. Even if I haven't read his father's book The Killer Angels, I was able to follow this magnificent epic based on the American Civil War. General Lee's surrender to General Grant was very touching and very well described by the author. His American Revolutionary War (1770-1783) series is also memorable and unforgettable. Just arrived from USA trough BM. Even if I haven't read his father's book The Killer Angels, I was able to follow this magnificent epic based on the American Civil War. General Lee's surrender to General Grant was very touching and very well described by the author. His American Revolutionary War (1770-1783) series is also memorable and unforgettable.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Philip Roberts

    This is the final episode in the civil war trilogy started by Michael Shaara with the Killer Angels. It follows General Grant’s relentless pursuit of Lee, following the Battle of Gettysburg, to the final surrender at Appomattox Courthouse where Lee realizes continuing the war is futile. The story is seen through the eyes of Lee and Grant and other key characters such as Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. It is beautifully written and shows compassion for the stuttering but not a failed cause. Well wor This is the final episode in the civil war trilogy started by Michael Shaara with the Killer Angels. It follows General Grant’s relentless pursuit of Lee, following the Battle of Gettysburg, to the final surrender at Appomattox Courthouse where Lee realizes continuing the war is futile. The story is seen through the eyes of Lee and Grant and other key characters such as Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. It is beautifully written and shows compassion for the stuttering but not a failed cause. Well worth the time to read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Like his father before him with Killer Angels, Jeff Shaara weaves a masterful portrait focusing on Lee, Grant and Chamberlain in the closing days of the war. The battles are detailed and precise; the men are real and fascinating. Highly recommended for both civil war buffs & historical fiction fans.

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