Quotes by Michael Shaara

"There's nothing so much like a god on earth as a General on a battlefield."
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"The truth is, Colonel, that there's no divine spark, bless you. There's many a man alive no more value than a dead dog. Believe me, when you've seen them hang each other...Equality? Christ in Heaven. What I'm fighting for is the right to prove I'm a better man than many. Where have you seen this divine spark in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? The Great White Joker in the Sky dooms us all to stupidity or poverty from birth. no two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance, not a leaf nor a tree. There's many a man worse than me, and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice. 'Tis why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I'm Kilrain, and I God damn all gentlemen. I don't know who me father was and I don't give a damn. There's only one aristocracy, and that's right here - " he tapped his white skull with a thick finger - "and YOU, Colonel laddie, are a member of it and don't even know it. You are damned good at everything I've seen you do, a lovely soldier, an honest man, and you got a good heart on you too, which is rare in clever men. Strange thing. I'm not a clever man meself, but I know it when I run across it. The strange and marvelous thing about you, Colonel darlin', is that you believe in mankind, even preachers, whereas when you've got my great experience of the world you will have learned that good men are rare, much rarer than you think."
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"He bent down, scratched the black dirt into his fingers. He was beginning to warm to it; the words were beginning to flow. No one in front of him was moving. He said, "This is free ground. All the way from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here we judge you by what you do, not by what your father was. Here you can be something. Here's a place to build a home. It isn't the land--there's always more land. It's the idea that we all have value, you and me, we're worth something more than the dirt. I never saw dirt I'd die for, but I'm not asking you to come join us and fight for dirt. What we're all fighting for, in the end, is each other."
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"If men were equal in America, all these Poles and English and Czechs and blacks, then they were equal everywhere, and there was really no such thing as foreigner; there were only free men and slaves."
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"Chamberlain closed his eyes and saw it again. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. No book or music would have that beauty. He did not understand it: a mile of men flowing slowly, steadily, inevitably up the long green ground, dying all the while, coming to kill you, and the shell bursts appearing above them like instant white flowers, and the flags all tipping and fluttering, and dimly you could hear the music and the drums, and then you could hear the officers screaming, and yet even above your own fear came the sensation of unspeakable beauty. He shook his head, opened his eyes. Professor's mind. But he thought of Aristotle: pity and terror. So this is tragedy. Yes. He nodded. In the presence of real tragedy you feel neither pain nor joy nor hatred, only a sense of enormous space and time suspended, the great doors open to black eternity, the rising across the terrible field of that last enormous, unanswerable question."
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Books by Michael Shaara

  • Soldier Boy
  • 44 ratings
  • March 1st 1982 by Pocket Books

    (first published 1982)

  • The Broken Place
  • 31 ratings
  • January 1st 1981 by McGraw-Hill Companies

    (first published 1968)

  • The Book
  • 17 ratings
  • March 10th 2010 by Gutenburg Press

    (first published November 1st 1953)

Michael Shaara
  • Michael Shaara

  • Date of birth: June 23, 1928
  • Died: May 05, 1988
  • Born: in Jersey City, New Jersey, The United States.

  • Description: Michael Shaara was an American writer of science fiction, sports fiction, and historical fiction. He was born to Italian immigrant parents (the family name was originally spelled Sciarra, which in Italian is pronounced the same way) in Jersey City, New Jersey, graduated from Rutgers University in 1951, and served as a sergeant in the 82nd Airborne division prior to the Korean War.
    Before Shaara began selling science fiction stories to fiction magazines in the 1950s, he was an amateur boxer and police officer. He later taught literature at Florida State University while continuing to write fiction. The stress of this and his smoking caused him to have a heart attack at the early age of 36; from which he fully recovered. His novel about the Battle of Gettysburg, The Killer Angels, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975. Shaara died of another heart attack in 1988.
    Shaara's son, Jeffrey Shaara, is also a popular writer of historical fiction; most notably sequels to his father's best-known novel. His most famous is the prequel to The Killer Angels, Gods and Generals. Jeffrey was the one to finally get Michael's last book, For Love of the Game, published three years after he died. Today there is a Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction, established by Jeffrey Shaara, awarded yearly at Gettysburg College.

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