Gone for Soldiers

  • by Jeff Shaara
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis
  • 19 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

With his acclaimed New York Times best sellers Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure, Jeff Shaara expanded upon his father's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels. Now Shaara carries us back to a time when the Civil War's most familiar names are fighting for another cause, as junior officers in an unfamiliar land, experiencing combat for the first time in the Mexican-American War.In March 1847, the U.S. Navy delivers 8,000 soldiers on the beaches of Vera Cruz. They are led by the army's commanding general, Winfield Scott, a heroic veteran. At his right hand is Robert E. Lee, a 40-year-old engineer who has never seen combat. Scott leads his troops against the imperious Mexican dictator, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. It becomes clear that the final conflict will occur at the gates and fortified walls of the ancient capital, Mexico City. Cut off from communication and their only supply line, the Americans learn about their enemy, themselves, and the horror of war. While Scott must weigh his own place in history, fighting what many consider a bully's war, Lee becomes a hero.

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What the Critics Say

"Brilliant does not even begin to describe the Shaara gift. Thank Gods and Generals that it was passed from father to son." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

History through the eyes of individuals

I never liked history in school. I did not realize at that time the importance of history on all of us. Besides that, history was never presented in a way that made you realize it was alive, and was formed by people who were just like us. "Gone for Soldiers" not only makes history come alive, it makes a relatively unknown period of history known to us. I remember hearing about the "Mexican War" in school - but that was it. The name of the war and some dates.

The author does a fantastic job of painting portraits of the various characters through whom the story is told. To anyone who has read any of Mr. Shaara's other works, or the work of his father, "The Killer Angels," a thread can be seen connecting each of his works through those characters, their predecessors, and their descendants.

I am indebted to Mr. Shaara to opening my eyes to this segment of American history. I would never have known about the greatness of Winfield Scott but for this book. Most other Americans do not know, either.

I recommend getting this book, either in print or audio, for the sheer educational value of it. Get it, listen to (or read) it, and get your children to listen to it. If for no other reason, get it just for the sheer entertainment value! Mr. Shaara, along with his close attention to the facts, has a remarkable literary talent. On top of that, the narrator, Jonathan Davis, reads not only with superb diction, but using different voices is able to add further brush strokes to the portrait of each historical character.

Thank you, Mr. Shaara, Mr. Davis and audible.com.
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- Henry F. Ward

Great Disappointment

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I think someone who could believe a 40 year old army captain, with 20+ years of experience interacting with his superiors, graduated from West Point, redirected the Mississippi River, built multiple forts down the Atlantic coast, etc. could be such a wimp, afraid of talking to superiors, embarrassed by compliments, and make such inane comments, would like it very much.


What other book might you compare Gone for Soldiers to and why?

Anything written by a 5th grader with no talent. I could not finish this book. It was horrible.


What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Overall it was good, but his interpretation of the characters didn't ring true.


What character would you cut from Gone for Soldiers?

Most of them, but probably Santa Anna. I'm sure he was a nasty man, but he's a caricature in this book.


Any additional comments?

From what I've read about Trist, he could not be the Casper Milquetoast and shrinking violet that Shaara makes him out to be.

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- Peri Duncan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-10-2000
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio