Michael Shaara

Franklin Library Michael Shaara books

The Killer Angels - Library of Pulitzer Prize Classics - 1979

Author Michael Shaara

Michael Shaara, born on June 23, 1928, was an American author best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Killer Angels. He was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and grew up in a household that valued literature and storytelling. Shaara's early life was marked by his passion for writing and literature. After graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in literature, he went on to pursue a career as a writer, initially focusing on short stories and science fiction novels. Despite his early efforts, Shaara struggled to achieve commercial success as a writer, and he spent much of his early career working odd jobs to support his family. It wasn't until later in life that he would find the success and recognition he had long sought.

In 1974, Shaara published The Killer Angels, a historical novel set during the American Civil War. The novel tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg from the perspectives of various key figures, including Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. The Killer Angels received widespread critical acclaim and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975, catapulting Shaara to literary fame and earning him a devoted readership. Despite his newfound success, Shaara struggled with health issues and personal challenges throughout his life. He continued to write and publish novels, including The Noah Conspiracy (1981) and For Love of the Game (1991), but none achieved the same level of acclaim as The Killer Angels.

Tragically, Michael Shaara passed away on May 5, 1988, at the age of fifty-nine, following complications from heart surgery. Despite his relatively short life and limited body of work, Shaara's impact on the literary world was profound. The Killer Angels remains one of the most celebrated works of historical fiction ever written, beloved by readers for its vivid portrayal of the human drama and tragedy of war. Shaara's legacy lives on through his writing, which continues to inspire readers and historians alike, reminding us of the enduring power of storytelling to illuminate the complexities of the human experience.

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