NEWT GINGRICH, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is the author of several bestselling books, including Valley Forge, To Try Men's Souls, and Pearl Harbor. He is the CEO of The Gingrich Group and an analyst for the Fox News Channel. DR. WILLIAM R. FORSTCHEN is the author of over thirty works of historical fiction, science fiction, young adult works, and traditional historical research; his titles include the New York Times bestselling One Second After and We Look Like Men of War. He holds a Ph.D. with a specialization in military history from Purdue University.
This well-executed alternative history imagines a Confederate victory at Gettysburg. Former House speaker Gingrich (Contract with America) and historical fiction author Forstchen (Down to the Sea) create a plausible scenario: Robert E. Lee resolves to command, rather than merely coordinate, the efforts of that gaggle of prima donnas known as the high command of the Army of Northern Virginia. Thus, when he leads them into battle against the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, he does not commit his soldiers to a desperate head-butting on the ground chosen by the Union's General Meade. Instead, he maneuvers around the Union flank, placing his tightly run army between Meade and Washington, D.C., scooping up Union supplies and forcing Meade to launch desperate attacks with disastrous results for the Union cause. The authors show thorough knowledge of the people, weapons, tactics and ambience of the Civil War, though their portrayals of historical figures like Lee, Meade, James Longstreet and Richard Ewell betray a certain bias (the Confederate men are noble and wise, the Union leaders hot-tempered and vindictive). The novel has a narrative drive and vigor that makes the climactic battle scene a real masterpiece of its kind (it's not for the weak of stomach). The military minutiae probably makes the book inaccessible to anyone who's not a Civil War buff or military fiction fan, but those two sizable groups will find this a veritable feast. (June) Forecast: The six-city author tour should attract a good number of Gingrich fans and curiosity seekers. The challenge will be to get this into the hands of the broader audience of Civil War and military aficionados. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"Surprisingly plausible, written with compelling narrative force and meticulous detail." --The Atlanta Journal Constitution"Gingrich and Forschten write with authority and with sensitivity." --St. Louis Post Dispatch"[Gettysburg] is believable and beautifully written...every bit as good as Michael Sharra's The Killer Angels. Not only do Gingrich and Forstchen bring the characters to life, and often horrible death, but they do so with memorable observations on the ways of war and vivid, technically accurate descriptions of frightful Civil War combat." --The Courier Journal (Kentucky)"An eye-opener...filled with gore, smoke, heat of battle and a surprise ending. The writing is vivid and clear. A ripping good read." --Washington Times"Well-executed alternative history. The authors show thorough knowledge of the people, weapons, tactics, and ambience of the civil war. A veritable feast." --Publishers Weekly"As historical fiction this stands beside The Killer Angels. As an alternative history of Gettysburg, it stands alone. The mastery of operational history enables the authors to expand the story's scope. The narrative is so clear that the action can be followed without maps. And the characters are sometimes heartbreakingly true to their historical originals." --Dennis Showalter, Former President of the Society of Military Historians"Gettysburg is a creative, clever, and fascinating 'what if?' novel that promises to excite and entertain America's legions of Civil War buffs." --James Carville"The novel Gettysburg puts forth an highly plausible and exciting scenario of a Confederate victory in the Pennsylvania campaign of 1863. The authors exhibit an in depth knowledge of not only technical details, but also the various personalities of the leaders how they could have reacted had things gone quite differently from history as we know it." --Don Troiani, noted Civil War artist
Gettysburg was the pivotal battle of the Civil War, and enthusiasts often speculate on how history might have been changed if the Confederacy had won. Gingrich, former speaker of the House of Representatives, and historical writer Forstchen have penned a fascinating version of that famous battle, addressing in detail many a Southerner's fantasy. On July 1, 1863, the Army of Virginia, under the command of Gen. Robert E. Lee, and the Army of the Potomac, under Gen. George G. Meade, clashed in deadly combat near Gettysburg, PA. Of course, Union forces won, but Gingrich and Forstchen imagine a different outcome in which Confederate forces do a surprise march around Union lines to flank and cut off the Union troops from their supply and information routes. In the course of their narrative, the authors depict the gallantry and heroism of Lee, Longstreet, Chamberlain, Hancock, Hunt, and many other officers and enlisted men on both sides of the conflict. Gettysburg will appeal to Civil War aficionados. Readers may also be interested in Michael Sharra's prize-winning The Killer Angels, now considered the best fictional account of the battle.-Thomas L. Kilpatrick, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.