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Publisher's Summary

Main Selection of the History Book Club

The Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War's turning point, produced over 57,000 casualties, the largest number from the entire war that was itself America's bloodiest conflict. On the third day of fierce fighting, Robert E. Lee's attempt to invade the North came to a head in Pickett's Charge. The infantry assault, consisting of nine brigades of soldiers in a line that stretched for over a mile, resulted in casualties of over 50 percent for the Confederates and a huge psychological blow to Southern morale.

Pickett's Charge is a detailed analysis of one of the most iconic and defining events in American history. This book presents a much-needed fresh look, including the unvarnished truths and ugly realities, about the unforgettable story. With the luxury of hindsight, historians have long denounced the folly of Lee's attack, but this work reveals the tactical brilliance of a master plan that went awry. Special emphasis is placed on the common soldiers on both sides, especially the non-Virginia attackers outside of Pickett's Virginia Division. These fighters' moments of cowardice, failure, and triumph are explored using their own words from primary and unpublished sources. Without romance and glorification, the complexities and contradictions of the dramatic story of Pickett's Charge have been revealed in full to reveal this most pivotal moment in the nation's life.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for listeners interested in history - books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times best seller or a national best seller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

©2016 Phillip Thomas Tucker (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Charge?

Long, long account of Pickett’s charge. Highly detailed, to the point of too much. Sets a record for the use of “therefore”, pronounced “thereFORE” by the reader. The book seems full of questionable and contradictory conclusions. On one page the Yankees are demoralized and fleeing and a couple pages later driving the Rebels back.

5 people found this helpful

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Worst CW book ever. Can't rate it low enough. It deserves negative 5 stars in all categories

This is the worst book about a CW battle
I have listened to,. Author claims a Phd but it must be horticulture are some interest far fromhistory, I don't know where Tucker is from but I am betting either Virginia or NC. Even that is no excuse for the absurd and glaring inaccuracies in this train wreck of a book.
In keeping with the pathetic lost cause tradition, Lee is the brilliant southern gentlemen whose army is poor in material but overflowing with nobility and
Courage while northern troops are the dregs
Of northern big city life. One southerner is worth 10 Yankees, etc ad nauseum.
This is a "new look" at Gettysburg alright, but is a look so fake and dishonest as to be pure fiction.
In truth in this major battle the Union leaders did almost everything right, while Lee and subordinates were slow and misjudged essentially everything,. Lee never had a chance to win this battle. They might have briefly gained a piece of the stone wall, but success means keeping it and expanding it. They never had a chance to do either and were decimated. The author makes saintly figured out of every fallen rebel as if dying bravely was the goal. This is the worst CW book ever written. You'd be better off
Getting "The Killer Angels" which even as admittedly "historical fiction" is more accurate than this rag. His worship of VMI gets tiresome, especially when we realize it was purely bad leadership that put the boy cadets in harms way in the first place. He writes as if VMI is the greatest of military schools of the era and then admits it was modeled after West Point. Plus, the VMI grads at Gettysburg lost so completely that detecting any military expertise amongst would have been a challenge.
This book was a waste of time and money. I'll be returning it.

Richard
Bergen


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BAD!!!!!!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator is the only positive I can give this book. Unfortunately he was saddled with a terrible book

Any additional comments?

Tucker's work is one of the worst I have come across. I admire Lee as much the next guy but Tucker give's Douglas Southall Freeman a run for his money. His arguments should make most students of Civil War military history cringe. His writing style is an excellent example of how not to write a modern military history. I'm just glad I didn't spend the $$ for a hardback of this work. If I could have given less than one star I would have.

9 people found this helpful

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Fiction presented as factual

Contradict 'facts' galore, selective facts to support a very tenuous thesis at best. Unconvincing, repeatative, and overly histrionic.

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It sucked

The author repeats himself over and over as though religion will make his theories true.

1 person found this helpful

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Many hours of trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

Boringly one sided. A complete disaster explained as a brilliant failure. Unbelievable courage for the most part but a complete blunder as results showed.

1 person found this helpful

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Too much repetition

The author made the same point repeatedly throughout the chapters. To the point it became overbearing.

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the worst book in my library

It is difficult to numerate all the complaints I have about this book. First, it is incredibly biased. Gen. Lee is just like a reborn Napoleon. His plan was brilliant and all other historians who called it folly are wrong. The reason for the failure is practically everyone of rank in the Army of Northern Virginia. It reminded me of HRC explaining why she lost the election. It hints at but does not say as to where Lee was---I always thought he was there. The author derides the North for treatment of prisoners' of war, they way the men of the South were buried, and the flaunting of northern generals after the battle. Second, at least 50 or more times he refers to Scotch soldiers. Sir scotch is an alcoholic beverage. Scots or Scottish is the term used for people from Scotland and Scotch guard is a fabric protector. Third errors of omission. It is said that Meade was taken aback about being attacked in his center. However, in other books Meade actually predicts where the attack will be. He kind of omits Lee apologizing to his troops saying it was his fault. and there are more. Fourth. he constantly talks about how frontal assaults worked for Napoleon and downplays how weapon technology does not play a part in why it was not a good idea 60 years later. They even tried it in WW1 with equally bad results. Lastly I think Gen Pickett said it correctly when asked why the charge failed when he said he thought the Army of the Potomac had something to do with it. If the book were posted as an alternative history it might have been better received. I heard the author is referred to as the Steven King of history, Not a good analogy.

1 person found this helpful

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Waste of time. Biased.

Another attempt to say it wasn’t Lee’s fault. This book is also repetitive, painfully repetitive. The author shows bias throughout. If you don’t want to read “Lost Cause” book, pass on this one.

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Terrible book please avoid

Terrible writing he is very repetitive and his ideas are simplistic and if he is trying to negate the Virginia lost cause story he is replacing with his own lost case story. Same thing Lee had a secret plan every Confederate Death was terrible but Union well that is expected. Please do not waste your time

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jon Smith
  • 10-19-20

Biased

If you are looking for a book about the Civil War written by a Lost Cause supporter this is the book for you. Many of the accusation aimed at Longstreet many years ago and subsequently discounted are brought up here again. I get the feeling that the author penned this with a large portrait of Lee in his office looking down on him.
The detail of people taking part in the charge itself is really good, well researched info. However it seems that any Federal background is discounted if it's not a quote of defeat.

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  • paul hadfeild
  • 09-02-18

Another brown nosing for general Lee .

This book is a good listen and does dispel lots of the rubbish written about pickets charge backed up with evidence .
However allot of time is devoted to "the brilliant battle plan in lee's mind " at one point he says no evidence exsists of this two pincer attack !
This book is determined to push the legacy of general lee as the American napoloen well not only that he says over and over that he his better than Napoleon . Napoleon was not beaten by accident wellington Had never lost against napoleon 's forces and beat him the only time he came up against him .
The big glearing thing about this is where was general lee you get the impression he was sitting in a darkened room with his eyes shut throughout the whole battle maybe thinking about his amazing plan he didn't bother to tell everyone about as his artillery wasted all it's amo over three hours instead of the 15 minutes he had asked for !!and the rest of his plan didn't happen because of the generals under him at no point did he step in, and what plan survives contact with the enemy anyway ,were was lees flexibility ? he didn't have any because this amazing general had got rid of his artillery reserve and sent his caverlry off to act independently.
I am sorry but general Lee was not the god these books keep trying to tell us he was .

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mark h
  • 01-20-18

Masterful In-depth and captivating

Though this book is very long it holds you with every chapter. It is very in depth with first hand accounts to put to rest over a century of myth and misunderstanding.

The story of Pickett’s Charge was only one part of a three day battle but was the defining moment of the battle and like many battles before was close to being a victory

Well worth the read and the narration is easy to listen to and the first hand accounts make the story come to life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shades of Blue Q
  • 06-25-22

Story of commanders

I think it boils down to this, the story of the confederate commanders who did the least. And Lee would have been right to instigate courts marshal against several of his commanders. But the story so woefully and shamefully to this day as many a young man perished. Tis well worth a listen even today. The narrator Mr Martin did a first class job. And Tucker PhD nailed it. Most well done.

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  • Michelle More
  • 05-23-22

Excellent!

After having spent a week in Gettysburg this book filled in the gaps. Absolutely excellent account of only part of Gettysburg’s 3 day battle but brilliantly written.

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  • Rosie James
  • 01-12-22

Fascintating insight

Having a map of the battle on hand is good to see where they start and where they finish. The author uses ethnicity instead of nationality (French, German, Cuban) and the Irish seem to feature constantly (of course alll nationalists, even those from Ulster) on both sides, everywhere almost as if Americans weren't there. Saying that it fascinating, sad and brutal, which for military history buffs its very interesting.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-21

Well researched, but rambling.

I made it two and a half hours into this 19 hour audiobook, and realised I hadn’t gained any more insight than I had in the first thirty minutes. While very well researched, and filled with contemporary evidence, the work is rambling in the extreme, constantly covers the same ground (to the point I honestly thought I’d accidentally skipped back without realising, and more than a few times), and never seems to offer any new information.

The book, simply, reiterates that Lee made a brilliant tactical play which was reminiscent, if not greater than, Napoleon’s movements in Europe. This genius, targeting the centre right (if I never hear those words again it’ll be too soon), was undermined by Longstreet’s seemingly deliberate attempts to ruin a plan he disagreed with. Otherwise the Union didn’t stand a chance.