Wednesday, July 3, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! A book and a song...

Man oh man I have been scratching my head on what to post in honor of the Fourth of July! I can tell you that I love my country and that's great BUT this is a book blog so I had to search through my brain for a book I read that is patriotic! I will let you in on a secret! I am fascinated by wars! It seems wrong to say I have "favorite" wars but I do! Revolutionary, Civil, and World I and II are the ones I find the most fascinating. So I picked an EXCELLENT Civil War book for you! won a Pulitzer Prize! Someone high up in life thought it was special! :) That book is The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. 

Here's a teaser! “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.” 

This book is a fictional account of the four bloodiest days of the Civil War aka Gettysburg. It had so much emotion in it! It goes in depth of the emotions and feelings that these old war generals were having at the time in a way I've never read in a historical novel before! I have this thing where I know how things historically went but in some weird way I always hope they will change. Like maybe this time the Titanic won't sink! I was the same with this book about Gettysburg! I wanted a happy ending to one bloody battle.I substitute teach and I taught for my old 8th grade history teacher and he gave this to me! I am still getting homework and I'm not even in school! But it was worth it! Once an educator always an educator! Here's to you Mr. Black! :)
My all time favorite speech or paragraph in this book is given by Colonel Chamberlain-a union officer. It's quite powerful!

"He said, "This ground 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.""
pg. 30 

The movie Gettysburg is based on this book and Jeff Daniels ROCKED this speech! Don't get me wrong I love Dumb and Dumber but I think that was beneath his acting skills when watching this! Watch it! 

O yeah, and I promised America my favorite American song in honor of it's independence. I love watching old movies and this one is called With a Song in My Heart-The Jane Froman Story! True story! She would go and entertain the fighting soldiers. My mom and I always seem to shed a tear or two at this part! Happy birthday America! God bless the USA!

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