The Fateful Lightning
List Price: $28
First entered: 6th, Jun 2015
Number of weeks: 3
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From Jeff Shaara comes the riveting final installment in the Civil War series that began with A Blaze of Glory and continued in A Chain of Thunder and The Smoke at Dawn.
November 1864: As the Civil War rolls into its fourth bloody year, the tide has turned decidedly in favor of the Union. A grateful Abraham Lincoln responds to Ulysses S. Grant’s successes by bringing the general east, promoting Grant to command the entire Union war effort, while William Tecumseh Sherman now directs the Federal forces that occupy all of Tennessee.
In a massive surge southward, Sherman conquers the city of Atlanta, sweeping aside the Confederate army under the inept leadership of General John Bell Hood. Pushing through northern Georgia, Sherman’s legendary March to the Sea shoves away any Rebel presence, and by Christmas 1864 the city of Savannah falls into the hands of “Uncle Billy.” Now there is but one direction for Sherman to go. In his way stands the last great hope for the Southern cause, General Joseph E. Johnston.
In the concluding novel of his epic Civil War tetralogy, Jeff Shaara tells the dramatic story of the final eight months of battle from multiple perspectives: the commanders in their tents making plans for total victory, as well as the ordinary foot soldiers and cavalrymen who carried out their orders until the last alarum sounded. Through Sherman’s eyes, we gain insight into the mind of the general who vowed to “make Georgia howl” until it surrendered. In Johnston, we see a man agonizing over the limits of his army’s power, and accepting the burden of leading the last desperate effort to ensure the survival of the Confederacy.
The Civil War did not end quietly. It climaxed in a storm of fury that lay waste to everything in its path. The Fateful Lightning brings to life those final brutal, bloody months of fighting with you-are-there immediacy, grounded in the meticulous research that readers have come to expect from Jeff Shaara.
Praise for Jeff Shaara’s new Civil War series
The Fateful Lightning
“Powerful and emotional . . . highly recommended.”—Historical Novels Review
“Outstanding . . . Shaara combines his extensive knowledge of military history with his consummate skill as a storyteller.”—Booklist
“Readers . . . looking for an absorbing novel will be well rewarded.”—The Clarion-Ledger
“A great accomplishment and a more than fitting conclusion to Shaara’s work on the Civil War.”—Bookreporter
A Blaze of Glory
“[An] exciting read . . . This novel is meticulously researched and brings a vivid reality to the historical events depicted.”—Library Journal
“Dynamic portrayals [of] Johnston, Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman.”—The Wall Street Journal
A Chain of Thunder
“Shaara continues to draw powerful novels from the bloody history of the Civil War.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Shaara’s historical accuracy is faultless. . . . The voices of these people come across to the reader as poignantly clear as they did 150 years ago.”—Historical Novels Review
The Smoke at Dawn
“Beautifully written . . . Shaara once again elevates history from mere rote fact to explosive and engaging drama.”—Bookreporter
Name: Jeff Shaara
Hometown: New Brunswick, New Jersey
Born: Feb, 1952
About the author:
Jeff Shaara, a descendant of Italian immigrants, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey ("Shaara" was originally spelled "Sciarra"). He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Criminology. From age 16, Jeff operated a rare coin business, first out of his home, then in a retail store. After moving to Tampa, Jeff became one of the most widely known coin and precious-metals dealers in Florida. In 1988, Jeff's father, Michael Shaara, died, and Jeff made the decision to sell his business, and take over the management of his father's estate.
Onboard the Guided Missile Destroyer USS Mustin in the Persian Gulf.
In 1993, the motion picture "Gettysburg" was released, which was based on his father's classic novel, The Killer Angels. After the critical and commercial success of the film, Jeff was approached about the possibility of continuing the story, finding someone to write a prequel and sequel to The Killer Angels. After some considerable soul-searching, Jeff decided to try to tackle the project himself. The decision was difficult in many ways, but most challenging because Jeff had no previous experience as a writer.
In 1996, Ballantine Books published Jeff's first novel, Gods and Generals, the prequel to his father's great work. Gods and Generals leapt onto the New York Times Bestseller List, and remained there for fifteen weeks. Critics nationwide praised the book and Jeff's writing ability, and the book was awarded the American Library Association's Prestigious "Boyd Award". No one was more surprised than Jeff himself. In 1998, the sequel, The Last Full Measure, was published, with the same result: thirteen weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, and universal praise from critics and fans nationwide. Two years later, Jeff published his third novel, Gone For Soldiers, which followed many familiar Civil War characters back to their experiences in the Mexican-American War of the 1840's. Received with much critical acclaim, the book became Jeff's third bestseller.