Ralph Peters: New Civil War Novel No 'Candy-Coated' Tale

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CMWinkler

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Ralph Peters: New Civil War Novel No 'Candy-Coated' Tale
Thursday, 07 May 2015 08:39 PM

By Bill Hoffmann


Retired Army Lt. Col Ralph Peters says his acclaimed new novel "Valley of the Shadow," is not the usual "candy-coated" rendering of the Civil War that most readers are used to.

"I'm trying to write civil war novels that really dramatize history and that are much more accurate and realistic than novels in the past," Peters said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/ralph-peters-novel-civil-war/2015/05/07/id/643338/#ixzz3Za5MfQCv
 

KansasFreestater

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Peters's Cain at Gettysburg and Hell or Richmond sure weren't candy-coated. And not just because they're gritty and gory and you can almost smell the camps with 20,000 guys suffering from diarrhea -- but also non-candy-coated in the sense of moral vision. The characters on both sides find themselves in horrific moral quandaries constantly and relentlessly. These books made me realize ever so acutely what a horrible thing it truly is to be ordered to kill as many of your fellow human beings as possible.

Peters is, in my opinion, one of the finest living American novelists. His writing simply dazzles. You know this next one will be good. But it will probably give you some sleepless nights.
 
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KansasFreestater

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Well, his Owen Parry novels are set in 1862. Under his own name, he's done novels on Gettysburg, the Overland Campaign and now the Valley in '64. Do you suppose he'll keep doing Civil War novels? Imagine what Peters could do with Sherman's March to the Sea! Or Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Or the chaos in Missouri.

May he live long and write many more!
 

KansasFreestater

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I think Lt. Col. Peters wanted to set the record straight in re: "Cain at Gettysburg," and give credit where it was due to Gen. Meade. Rightfully so, Meade has been given short shrift for nearly 152 yrs. for his overlooked and under appreciated work leading up to and during this momentous battle.
Yes! So true! If Grant is the most unjustly maligned president, Meade is certainly the most unjustly ignored general!

Meade was awesome. Have you read Searching for George Gordon Meade: The Forgotten Hero of Gettysburg? Wonderful book. The author calls Meade "the Rodney Dangerfield of Civil War generals" -- he don't get no respect! :frown:
Then he shows you, as he travels to all the places Meade ever set foot in, why Meade was a great general, and a great person.
 
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Rob9641

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I read "Cain at Gettysburg" and liked it, but I thought as literature "The Killer Angels" was better. I found Schaara's style and his overarching theme (men trapped in horrible situations they can't get out of and can only try to bear up under) more to my liking. I guess anybody who has read them both can't help comparing them and deciding which they like better.
 

KansasFreestater

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I read "Cain at Gettysburg" and liked it, but I thought as literature "The Killer Angels" was better. I found Schaara's style and his overarching theme (men trapped in horrible situations they can't get out of and can only try to bear up under) more to my liking. I guess anybody who has read them both can't help comparing them and deciding which they like better.
Well, I will have to read Schaara's book one of these days. But probably not until I finish the last two novels in Peters's Owen Parry series!
 
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sflickinger

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I read "Cain at Gettysburg" and liked it, but I thought as literature "The Killer Angels" was better. I found Schaara's style and his overarching theme (men trapped in horrible situations they can't get out of and can only try to bear up under) more to my liking. I guess anybody who has read them both can't help comparing them and deciding which they like better.
I'm with you on "Killer Angels." Schaara is a great writer and what I like the most about the book is that the dialogue rings true. I grew to admire Chamberlain because of the book and became convinced of his innate genius as a battle commander. I was in the military with a tour in Vietnam and I would have followed him anywhere.
 

KansasFreestater

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I think Lt. Col. Peters wanted to set the record straight in re: "Cain at Gettysburg," and give credit where it was due to Gen. Meade. Rightfully so, Meade has been given short shrift for nearly 152 yrs. for his overlooked and under appreciated work leading up to and during this momentous battle.
I'm finally reading Valley of the Shadow. I'm about a third of the way into it, which covers the Battle of Monocacy. The short-shrifted general whose reputation Peters rescues here is Lew Wallace. Peters's books always make me want to learn more. After Cain at Gettysburg, I bought a couple biographies of Meade. I guess now I'm going to have to get that book about Lew Wallace that Peters recommends in his afterword! I wonder what wrongly overlooked officer Peters will focus on in his upcoming The Dam*ed of Petersburg....
 
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Peters's Cain at Gettysburg and Hell or Richmond sure weren't candy-coated. And not just because they're gritty and gory and you can almost smell the camps with 20,000 guys suffering from diarrhea -- but also non-candy-coated in the sense of moral vision. The characters on both sides find themselves in horrific moral quandaries constantly and relentlessly. These books made me realize ever so acutely what a horrible thing it truly is to be ordered to kill as many of your fellow human beings as possible.

Peters is, in my opinion, one of the finest living American novelists. His writing simply dazzles. You know this next one will be good. But it will probably give you some sleepless nights.
Love his books ! I believe he's about to publish one with the Siege Of Petersburg as the backdrop.
 

sflickinger

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Peters's Cain at Gettysburg and Hell or Richmond sure weren't candy-coated. And not just because they're gritty and gory and you can almost smell the camps with 20,000 guys suffering from diarrhea -- but also non-candy-coated in the sense of moral vision. The characters on both sides find themselves in horrific moral quandaries constantly and relentlessly. These books made me realize ever so acutely what a horrible thing it truly is to be ordered to kill as many of your fellow human beings as possible.

Peters is, in my opinion, one of the finest living American novelists. His writing simply dazzles. You know this next one will be good. But it will probably give you some sleepless nights.
Thanks for this book tip. I'm just about done with my current book and I'll cash in on your tip about Peters. I've seen him many times on Fox News and I always enjoyed his appearances. Thanks again.
 
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KansasFreestater

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Thanks for this book tip. I'm just about done with my current book and I'll cash in on your tip about Peters. I've seen him many times on Fox News and I always enjoyed his appearances. Thanks again.
I don't have TV, so I've not seen him in that milieu. I only know him as a novelist, and he is simply the best. I hope to convince our friend @Pat Young to give Peters's Civil War novels a try despite Peters's "extracurricular" activities! Honestly, you would never be able to discern any particular political affiliation from his novels, since they are simply about human beings caught in the horrors of war. They are nuanced, vivid, and deal with life in all its paradox and complexity. I'm always particularly struck by how Peters captures the agonizing moral quandaries of war.
 

AlexPensFan86

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While I disagree with Peters' political leanings, it doesn't diminish the fact that the man is a fine novelist. His books are realistic, well written and well researched. I am really looking forward to the new book and hope that he keeps writing even more.
 
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