Reviews of Gods and Generals and of Brass Pounders: The Young Telegraphers of the Civil War

By Gary Norman
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Charger in the spring of 2000.


It is interesting how no two men view a similar experience in the exact same way and how technology exists as an underlying force that helps to both form and communicate the experiences of men. This is especially true during the time of the Civil War.

There are two books that I would like to introduce to the Roundtable which touch on the issue of the dissimilarity of similar experiences and how technology forms and communicates it. The first book is Gods and Generals, written by Jeff Shaara, who is the son of Michael Shaara, author of the award-winning The Killer Angels. The second book is Brass-Pounders: Young Telegraphers of the Civil War, written by Alvin F. Harlow. Both books are well written and both blur the threshold between historical fiction and nonfiction.

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