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On Great Fields

The Life and Unlikely Heroism of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Ronald C. White, Jr.

$75.95

Hardback

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English
Random House USA Inc
05 December 2023
"Before 1862, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain had rarely left his home state of Maine, where he was a trained minister and mild-mannered professor at Bowdoin College. His colleagues were shocked when he volunteered for the Union army, but he was undeterred and later became known as one of the North's greatest heroes- On the second day at Gettysburg, after running low on ammunition at Little Round Top, he ordered his men to wield their bayonets in a desperate charge down a rocky slope that routed the Confederate attackers. Despite being wounded at Petersburg-and told by two surgeons he would die-Chamberlain survived the war, going on to be elected governor of Maine four times and serve as president of Bowdoin College.

How did a stuttering young boy come to be fluent in nine languages and even teach speech and rhetoric? How did a trained minister find his way to the battlefield? Award-winning historian Ronald C. White delves into these contradictions in this definitive, cradle-to-grave biography of General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, from his upbringing in rural Maine to his tenacious, empathetic military leadership and his influential postwar public service, exploring a question that still plagues so many veterans- How do you make a civilian life of meaning after having experienced the extreme highs and lows of war?

Chamberlain is familiar to millions from Michael Shaara's now-classic novel of the Civil War, The Killer Angels, and Ken Burns's timeless miniseries The Civil War, but in this book, White captures the complex and inspiring man behind the hero. Heavily illustrated and featuring ten detailed maps, this gripping, impeccably researched portrait illuminates one of the most admired but least known figures in our nation's bloodiest conflict.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER . From the author of A. Lincoln and American Ulysses comes the dramatic and definitive biography of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the history-altering professor turned Civil War hero.

""A vital and vivid portrait of an unlikely military hero who played a key role in the preservation of the Union and therefore in the making of modern America.""-Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of And There Was Light

SHORTLISTED FOR THE GILDER LEHRMAN LINCOLN PRIZE . A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

Before 1862, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain had rarely left his home state of Maine, where he was a trained minister and mild-mannered professor at Bowdoin College. His colleagues were shocked when he volunteered for the Union army, but he was undeterred and later became known as one of the North's greatest heroes- On the second day at Gettysburg, after running out of ammunition at Little Round Top, he ordered his men to wield their bayonets in a desperate charge down a rocky slope that routed the Confederate attackers. Despite being wounded at Petersburg-and told by two surgeons he would die-Chamberlain survived the war, going on to be elected governor of Maine four times and serve as president of Bowdoin College.

How did a stuttering young boy come to be fluent in nine languages and even teach speech and rhetoric? How did a trained minister find his way to the battlefield? Award-winning historian Ronald C. White delves into these contradictions in this cradle-to-grave biography of General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, from his upbringing in rural Maine to his tenacious, empathetic military leadership and his influential postwar public service, exploring a question that still plagues so many veterans- How do you make a civilian life of meaning after having experienced the extreme highs and lows of war?

Chamberlain is familiar to millions from Michael Shaara's now-classic novel of the Civil War, The Killer Angels, and Ken Burns's timeless miniseries The Civil War, but in this book, White captures the complex and inspiring man behind the hero. Heavily illustrated and featuring nine detailed maps, this gripping, impeccably researched portrait illuminates one of the most admired but least known figures in our nation's bloodiest conflict."

By:  
Imprint:   Random House USA Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 241mm,  Width: 165mm,  Spine: 40mm
Weight:   833g
ISBN:   9780525510086
ISBN 10:   0525510087
Pages:   512
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ronald C. White is the New York Times bestselling author of biographies A. Lincoln and American Ulysses, as well as three other books on Lincoln, most recently Lincoln in Private. White earned his PhD at Princeton, has lectured at the White House, and has spoken about Lincoln across the world. He is a senior fellow of The Trinity Forum in Washington, D.C.

Reviews for On Great Fields: The Life and Unlikely Heroism of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

“Ronald C. White has given us a vital and vivid portrait of an unlikely military hero who played a key role in the preservation of the Union and therefore in the making of modern America. From his bookish days as a professor at Bowdoin to the fields of Gettysburg, Joshua Chamberlain was a man of principle and of action, a surprising officer whose conviction and courage made all the difference. A marvelous book.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of And There Was Light “Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is one of the most famous soldiers who fought at the battle of Gettysburg. Ronald C. White chronicles that story and Chamberlain’s other Civil War exploits, but the distinguishing feature of this fine biography is its in-depth account of the varied achievements of this extraordinary American hero in a lifetime that ranged over more than eight decades.”—James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era “A thoroughly engaging portrait of the life and career of Civil War hero Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Ronald C. White demonstrates once again his mastery of the biographical art with a fresh assessment of Chamberlain’s complicated yet inspiring journey.”—Joan Waugh, author of U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth


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