The Last Full Measure by Jeff Shaara

The Last Full Measure opens with Gettysburg in the past. The U.S. Civil War moves into its third and most savage year. On the Union side there is a need for a strong, decisive leader. President Abraham Lincoln places U.S. Grant in command in the newly created position of Lieutenant General. This is the decision that turns the war.

Gettysburg had been a terrible disaster for the southern soldiers and Robert E. Lee. Lee knows the south cannot survive a war of attrition. Lee is duty bound to his generals and has an immovable faith in God. He is committed to fight to the very end. He sees this as his duty for his country and Virginia.

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 U.S. Civil War, winning the Medal of Honor and is one of the greatest citizen soldiers ever produced.

Shaara does an excellent job on balancing the strategy of the battles with the horrible cost in human terms. He does a great job of painting vivid scenes and adding the drama and action that makes them come alive.

The Last Full Measure is the third book the Shaara father-son team has written on the U.S. Civil War. Son Jeff wrote Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure. His late father, and Pulitzer Prize winning father wrote The Killer Angels concerning the battle of Gettysburg. The Last Full Measure is the fitting finale to a magnificent literary trilogy. Jimmie A. Kepler

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