It's the spring of 1862. The Confederate Army in the West teeters on the brink of collapse following the catastrophic loss of Fort Donelson. Commanding general Albert Sidney Johnston is forced to pull up stakes, abandon the critical city of Nashville, and rally his troops in defense of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Hot on Johnston's trail are two of the Union's best generals: the relentless Ulysses Grant, fresh off his career-making victory at Fort Donelson, and Don Carlos Buell. If their combined forces can crush Johnston's army and capture the railroad, the war in the West likely will be over. There's just one problem: Johnston knows of the Union plans, and is poised to launch an audacious surprise attack on Grant's encampment - a small settlement in southwestern Tennessee anchored by a humble church named Shiloh.
With stunning you-are-there immediacy, Shaara takes us inside the maelstrom of Shiloh as no novelist has before. Drawing on meticulous research, he dramatizes the key actions and decisions of the commanders on both sides: Johnston, Grant, Sherman, Beauregard, and the illustrious Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest. Here too are the thoughts and voices of the junior officers, conscripts, and enlisted men who gave their all for the cause, among them Confederate cavalry lieutenant James Seeley and Private Fritz "Dutchie" Bauer of the 16th Wisconsin Regiment - brave participants in a pitched back-and-forth battle whose casualty count would far surpass anything the American public had yet seen in this war. By the end of the first day of fighting, as Grant's bedraggled forces regroup for could be their last stand, two major events - both totally unexpected - will turn the tide of the battle and perhaps the war itself.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By David on 07-04-13
Very accessible way of learning history
This is the first of Shaara's books I have read (despite repeated recommendations from my Dad). It describes important history in the style of a historical novel, mixing fictional characters with famous personalities. I found it a great way to bring life to a history that could have been very dry and hard to understand. What is interesting is that this book is the first in a new series of four books, all dealing with important aspects of the Western theatre of the American Civil War, and I look forward to the next installment.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Wolfpacker on 09-12-14
I Love Shaara, But Perhaps More in Print
I have never been disappointed in a Shaara (either Jeff or Michael) book. This was slightly disappointing perhaps because of my expectation level. My first Shaara experience on Audible. Maybe this one would be as good as the many others I had read in print. The battles are more difficult to visualize with no maps at least for me.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Stephen on 13-11-13
Great telling of the story of the Battle of Shiloh
Would you listen to A Blaze of Glory again? Why?
Yes, largely because I've listened to most of the author's books on more than one occasion. While fiction, it's very fact intensive and listening a second time tends to provide more insight into the story.
What did you like best about this story?
As with all of the author's novels since "To the Last Man," at least a portion of the story is told from the perspective of someone serving on the front line. This, to me, makes these novels stronger even than his father's "Killer Angels" and the two follow ups written by Jeff. People that haven't served in war have no idea what the average soldier goes through on a daily basis while serving the front lines, so the perspective provided by Mr. Shaara is both real, fascinating and frightening all at once.
Have you listened to any of Paul Michael’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I believe, but can't be certain, that he has read many of Mr. Shaara's novels. If I am correct they are all outstanding jobs.
Who was the most memorable character of A Blaze of Glory and why?
The front line infantrymen.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful