EARLY WORKS BY MICHAEL SHAARA
Downloads include Michael Shaara's only unpublished novel "A Rebel in Autumn" available for the first time as both e-book and hardcover! Also, "For Love of the Game", the postumously published baseball story, which became the enormously popular film starring Kevin Costner. In addition, for the first time anywhere, downloads are available for every one of Michael's entire collection of sci-fi and other short stories!
THE COMPLETE "ORIGINAL" CIVIL WAR TRILOGY
the Civil War's
JEFF'S LATEST BOOK!
Released June 2
THE FATEFUL LIGHTING
THE 4TH AND FINAL VOLUME OF THE CIVIL WAR SERIES
by Jeff Shaara, 2015
JEFF'S 14TH CONSECUTIVE NEW YORK
A PERSONAL NOTE FROM JEFF
Occasionally I receive a somewhat hostile email here, taking me to task for "celebrating" a variety of politically incorrect characters. Such was the one I received today, regarding Nathan Bedford Forrest. If you're not familiar with Forrest, he was one of the premier cavalry commanders of the Confederacy, rivaling in stature and abilities "Jeb" Stuart. Regrettably, he also was instrumental in the founding of the Ku Klux Klan, some years after the Civil War. The gentleman who wrote me had not in fact read my book (In this case "A Blaze of Glory"- about Shiloh), so he didn't actually criticize my portrayal of General Forrest. He only "scanned the dust jacket" (his words), and made his judgment accordingly, and apparently concluded that I knew nothing of Forrest's post-war activities (or even worse, he might have assumed that I supported those activities). A number of my books have dealt with characters who are a bit unseemly to the way we are taught history, from the "redcoats" in the Revolutionary War, to Santa Anna in Mexico, to various German characters in both WW1 and WW2. And, I concede that these days, a great many people are attaching the same kind of negative label to Confederates. While not seeking to address the whole "flag is evil" controversy (which I will not do), I wanted to share my response to this gentleman's email:
"I am well aware of Forrest's role in our history. But part of that role includes his performance as an outstanding cavalry officer in the Civil War, which is the story that concerns me. My job is to be a story-teller, not an arbiter of behavior, and I never make any effort to pass judgment in hindsight of any characters in my books. My priority is to take you with me to the time of the event, and tell you the story the way those characters would have told it themselves. What any of these people did after the fact is not relevant to that story. Sherman's relationship to Native Americans in the 1870s is not a happy story, nor is Ulysses Grant's presidency. If we choose to ignore characters based on their later sins, history becomes a sanitized summary, which teaches us nothing. George Washington owned slaves. That does not diminish (to me) his extraordinary accomplishments during and after the American Revolution. If we erase the politically incorrect from our history books, we erase history. I'm not willing to do that, just to avoid offending someone's modern sensibilities. Sorry if you disagree." For what it's worth, of course.
With most of my appearances and travel complete, I'm working in earnest on the KOREAN WAR story. Not sure of the particulars yet- it will most likely NOT be a full blown history of the entire war (that would involve a trilogy, at least, and my publisher isn't going along with that). I'm already digging into the research, focusing on a few characters, some minor, some well known, as I've tried to do in all of my books. No schedule for completion yet, but as the book progresses, I'll keep you updated here.
As always, I apologize for not responding to every email I receive – But I assure you, I do READ all of them, and will answer them as time allows. And, for all you cynics out there (and there are a few), yes, it's really me who answers you. Honest- I really don't have a staff. Please note that some of your questions might be answered on the FAQ Page (Frequently Asked Questions).
Jeff Shaara – October 21, 2015