• The Last Full Measure

  • A Novel of the Civil War (Civil War Trilogy)
  • By: Jeff Shaara
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 26 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (388 ratings)

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The Last Full Measure  By  cover art

The Last Full Measure

By: Jeff Shaara
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
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Publisher's summary

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara created the finest Civil War novel of our time, an enduring best seller that has sold more than two million copies. In the best-selling Gods and Generals, Shaara's son, Jeff, brilliantly sustained his father's vision, telling the epic story of the events culminating in the Battle of Gettysburg. Now, Jeff Shaara brings this legendary father-son trilogy to its stunning conclusion in a novel that brings to life the final two years of the Civil War.

As The Last Full Measure opens, Gettysburg is past and the war advances to its third brutal year. On the Union side, the gulf between the politicians in Washington and the generals in the field yawns ever wider. Never has the cumbersome Union Army so desperately needed a decisive, hard-nosed leader. It is at this critical moment that Lincoln places Ulysses S. Grant in command - and turns the tide of war.

For Robert E. Lee, Gettysburg was an unspeakable disaster - compounded by the shattering loss of the fiery Stonewall Jackson two months before. Lee knows better than anyone that the South cannot survive a war of attrition. But with the total devotion of his generals - Longstreet, Hill, Stuart - and his unswerving faith in God, Lee is determined to fight to the bitter end. 

Here too is Joshua Chamberlain, the college professor who emerged as the Union hero of Gettysburg - and who will rise to become one of the greatest figures of the Civil War.

Battle by staggering battle, Shaara dramatizes the escalating confrontation between Lee and Grant - complicated, heroic, deeply troubled men. From the costly Battle of the Wilderness to the agonizing siege of Petersburg to Lee's epoch-making surrender at Appomattox, Shaara portrays the riveting conclusion of the Civil War through the minds and hearts of the individuals who gave their last full measure.

Full of human passion and the spellbinding truth of history, The Last Full Measure is the fitting capstone to a magnificent literary trilogy.

©2020 Jeff Shaara (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"Riveting.... Vivid.... Brilliantly depicted.... The last full measure is more than another historical novel. It is rooted in history, but its strength is the element of humanity flowing through its characters.... The book is compelling, easy to read, well researched and written, and thought-provoking.... In short, it is everything that a reader could ask for." (Chicago Tribune)

"A worthy companion to its two predecessors.... These characters come alive as complex, heroic, and flawed men.... You are with [Robert E.] Lee, a deeply religious man, as he first begins to wonder if the Confederate cause will prevail.... You ride with [Ulysses S.] Grant to see the mounds of Union dead at Cold Harbor, and you share his sickening realization that thousands are dead because of his miscalculation.... You are at [Joshua] Chamberlain's bedside as he fights to recover from nearly mortal wounds.... Each book is masterful in its own way and taken together, they are unmatched in the body of Civil War literature." (The Baltimore Sun

"An ambitious work.... [Shaara] writes with considerable sensitivity and skill, setting vivid scenes and adding drama and suspense to a familiar tale." (The Seattle Times)

What listeners say about The Last Full Measure

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Lee misses Jackson, Grant smokes cigars.

He had turned on the computer, thought about the review, wondered "Would it matter?" The computer buzzed with activity, the webpage loaded. He started typing, thought "what should I say?" Should he write a scathing review? No, it will do no good he thought. He had no use for sarcasm, didn't think most would understand. The fact that all of Jeff Shaara's novels are basically the same weighed on his mind. The same verbiage, thoughts, feelings, just different characters in different time periods. How dumb does he think the reader is? He shook his head, would not think on that. Jeff had better thank his father everyday for this format. He'll keep cashing those checks he thought. On a side note take a shot every time you hear the word "thought" in a Jeff Shaara book.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ummmm

I've read on wikipedia that Shaara has been criticized for having "Lost Cause" sensibilities. After reading Killer Angels my opinion was that this criticism was unwarranted. Was Lost Cause stuff there? Sure. In the mouths of the Confederate characters it was there, but if they were truly deluded in that way, why not reveal it in the characterizations? It adds to the tragedy of the whole thing, imo. But then I listened to The Last Full Measure and I get it now. The General Lee fanboying in this novel is nauseating. Plus, it's boring. Another person titled their review, "Lee misses Jackson, Grant smokes cigars," and that pretty much sums it up. I like Bramhall, but not enough to recommend this audiobook. I'd skip this one if I were you. (Edit: I see now, but didn't realize, that this and Killer Angels were written by different people. Maybe that's why this one is offensive. Don't know. I think Killer Angels is pretty solid.)

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must listen for great insight of Gettysburg.

Love this great book. Author gives wonderful stories in a way like no other. With Mark Bramels Audible performance, I could not stop gathering the Authors intent. Will also be purchasing the actual book for my library. So many great quotes to be remembered.
Mark Bramel made you feel right there with his Audible style.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fine ending to a great series.

Jeff is almost as good as his father was. Covering several battles is no easy task, but, he does it well. Narration is excellent. A great idea at dialogue, or at least, what they might've sounded like back then. 10/10.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Makes our history come alive

The final to the trilogy brings it all together with "insight" to the men that waged the war.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent audiobook

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook while driving through Central Virginia multiple times over several months for work. So cool to think of Lee & Grant fighting the ending battles of the Civil War near the very places where I was driving. The narrator did excellent. Very entertaining.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastically told.

This books brings you inside the minds and the personal lives the major figures in the war of Northern aggression. Wonderfully told and beautifully narrated. If you read any one book about the War of Northern Aggression, read this one, you can’t put it down. Thank you so much Mr. Shaara for a beautifully written book about Americas history.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator

I have read the book before listening to it. If I had listened to the book before reading it I don't think I know I wouldn't have liked it. I think they picked the wrong narrator for this story. I have listen to other books with the same narrator and he was good at reading those. This one he was miss pronouncing names of confederate generals and that was annoying. I would understand if they were foreign names but not when they are well known civil war general's names.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Continence of Killer Angels

Live in the minds of Civil War heroes as they battle post-Gettysburg to the final conclusion at Appomattox Court House.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Superb telling

I thought no tale would equal Killer Angels, this in my opinion is its match.

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