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Gettysburg: The Graphic History of America’s Most Famous Battle and the Turning Point of the Civil War (Graphic Novel) Review

 
9780760344064
9780760344064
9780760344064

 
At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 96
 
Genre: ,
 
Author:
 
Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


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Really brings the battle to life, with detailed descriptions of the battle and the people fighting it.

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There were so many players on the field, it can be tough to keep everyone straight.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Whether you’re a parent hoping to capture the interest of your teens, a graphic novel junkie looking for something new, or just someone looking for a great story, you can’t go wrong with Gettysburg: The Graphic History of America’s Most Famous Battle and the Turning Point of the Civil War.

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Posted March 27, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

The Battle of Gettysburg is one of the most recognizable battles in America’s history. Sure, we all studied it in school, but how much do you really know about it?

Gettysburg: The Graphic History of America’s Most Famous Battle and the Turning Point of the Civil War – wow, that’s a mouthful of a title, so we’ll just call it Gettysburg for the remainder of the review. Author (and illustrator) Wayne Vansant has really turned the idea of a history lesson on its head. He’s actually written several other historical graphical novels, but this is the first one I’ve seen. I must say, I’m impressed. He has succeeded in making a history lesson both accessible and interesting, and that is not always easy to do.

Gettysburg is written in standard graphic novel form, with each panel depicting various people, events, and locations that played a factor in the battle. As you would expect, there are numerous mentions of well known figures like General Robert E. Lee or President Abraham Lincoln, but it is also interspersed with lesser known facts and characters that really give the story life and help you to relate to people long dead.

In fact, it is the details that really make this book. Anyone can give a brief history of the battle (and the listeners might even remember a little of it), but Wayne Vansant takes you inside the battle, giving you a birdseye view of the people – on both sides – who fought so valiantly for what they believed in. The book begins with Stonewall Jackson’s funeral, and ends with the Gettysburg Address, giving you an overview of both the events leading up to the battle, and the battle itself.

For war buffs, there are detailed illustrations showing the locations of the various regiments of soldiers, interesting tidbits about their leaders, and various tipping points during the battle that lead the action in one way or another. The Battle of Gettysburg had the most casualties of any battle during the Civil War, and there’s plenty of that in the book as well, from fallen leaders to a doomed battle for a regiment’s colors, and all of it is masterfully drawn in a realistic (but not gory) way. In a graphic novel, the illustrations are hugely important, and Vansant’s years at Marvel shine through.

I wouldn’t call myself a history buff, but I do love a good story – and the Battle of Gettysburg is a great story. Massive casualties, a nation banded together to find the children of a soldier lost to the fight, generals ignoring the advice of seasoned advisors, a President determined to end the war – it is simply captivating. Unfortunately, most history lessons never capture the human elements, the exciting skirmishes, the just plain fascinating aspect of this celebrated battle. Whether you’re a parent hoping to capture the interest of your teens, a graphic novel junkie looking for something new, or just someone looking for a great story, you can’t go wrong with Gettysburg: The Graphic History of America’s Most Famous Battle and the Turning Point of the Civil War.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)