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Extended Audio Sample The Fateful Lightning: A Novel of the Civil War, by Jeffrey M. Shaara Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeffrey M. Shaara Narrator: Paul Michae Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Civil War Series Release Date:
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From New York Times bestselling author 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 alarm 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Outstanding…Shaara combines his extensive knowledge of military history with his consummate skill as a storyteller to vivify [Sherman’s March to the Sea]…The Union and Confederate strategies, tactics, and points of view are both represented, providing a measure of balance and clarity to a campaign that is often viewed through a lopsided lens. By concentrating on the western theater throughout this series, Shaara has opened a welcome literary window to some of the less familiar Civil War battles and campaigns.”


  • “How does an author make history interesting? By turning it into a historical novel read by a masterful narrator such as Paul Mitchell. This fascinating book about the final months of the American Civil War looks deeply into the minds and hearts of enemy generals William Tecumseh Sherman and his Confederate counterpart, Joseph Johnston. While many history books give only dry exposition of the battles, strategies, and events, this one gives the characters personality. They live through conversations and observations created by the author but based on what is known about the men and their characters. This third part of Jeff Shaara’s Civil War trilogy adds a great deal to one’s understanding of the war that divided the nation.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
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