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Michael Shaara Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Broken Place (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Killer Angels (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Herald (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
For Love of the Game (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Rebel in Autumn (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Soldier Boy (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Michael Shaara was an American author born in 1928 and who was best known for this science fiction and historical novels. Michael Shaara is also known for being Jeff Shaara’s father.

+Biography

Michael Shaara was born in Jersey City to Italian Immigrants. A student of Rutgers University, Michael always knew that he would pursue writing. And he eventually brought this dream to pass.

Michael started small. By the 1950s, the author had begun publishing short science fiction stories in magazines, and some of his stories were so good that he even won awards. Michael’s renown slowly grew, with his short stories eventually drawing the interest of notable brands of print media like Playboy and Cosmopolitan.

By this point in time, Michael had met and married his wife Helen who had given birth to their son Jeff and their daughter Lila. The publishing arena wasn’t especially friendly at the time, and Michael chose to go into teaching to make a living.

Even with all the renown they were eliciting, Michael soon found that writing short stories no longer satisfied him. He wanted to do bigger things. And by the 1960s, he had begun to do just that, taking his first steps to producing a full-length novel.

The novel, which was called ‘The Broken Place’, was published in 1968 and it chronicled the life of a soldier who comes back home from the Korean War to become a prizefighter. The book was critically well received. Reviewers everywhere praised Michael Shaara’s style.

However, readers refused to bite. Fortunately, Michael Shaara refused to give in, though the lack of public interest definitely demoralized him. He continued to write, though his teaching schedule made the process a little difficult.

Michael had to rely on stimulants like coffee and cigarettes to stay up at night long enough to get his writing done. Michael’s goal was to retell his experience visiting the battlefield at Gettysburg with his family. However, getting ‘The Killer Angels’ completed took a toll on the author.

By the time he was thirty-six, Michael had suffered his first heart attack, the result of his unhealthy lifestyle. And it did not help his morale when ‘The Killer Angels’ was rejected by more than a dozen publishers.

It would have been unfortunate, indeed, for the book to go unread by the public despite everything Michael Shaara had sacrificed to get it written. Fortunately for Michael, his manuscript eventually elicited the interest of an independent publisher called ‘The David McKay Company’ in 1973.

‘The David McKay Company’ was eventually assimilated by Random House. Not that Michael cared. He was simply ecstatic that his second novel would finally see the light day.

If the response to the author’s first book demoralized him, the response to his second attempt at writing was even more shocking, not only because the public shunned it but the fact that, this time, even the critics seemed to hate it.

The fact that ‘The Killer Angels’ eventually won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975 did little to improve Michael Shaara’s mood. It began to occur to Michael that readers in his country had no interest in reading about the worst tragedies of the nation from a personalized perspective.

The realization forced Michael to change directions. The author’s next book sought to tackle the conflict between radical students and the administration of the Florida State University during the tumult of the 1960s.

This time, as beautiful as the author’s writing was, he couldn’t even get a publisher to invest in his third novel.

‘The Herald’, the fourth book from Michael Shaara, was just as unsuccessful. An attempt to write about Baseball in New York was equally rejected.

If that wasn’t enough, Michael Shaara’s health had continued to decline, so much so that he eventually suffered a second heart attack and died, this bringing his frustrating writing career to an end.

Michael Shaara did not come into his own until the movie ‘Gettysburg’ was released just five years after his death. Because it was based on ‘The Killer Angels’, the popularity of ‘Gettysburg’ pushed the renown of ‘The Killer Angels’ driving it to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. The sudden and unexpected success of ‘The Killer Angels’ led to the discovery of Michael’s unpublished baseball story.

The author’s children quickly secured a publisher for the book which was titled ‘For Love of the Game’ and eventually became a Universal Studios Motion Picture that was released in 1999.

No one expected Michael Shaara to find his audience after his death; but that is exactly what happened. Since then, the author’s science fiction and straight fiction stories have been repackaged and republished.

Jeff Shaara, Michael’s son, has also written sequels to his novels, further cementing his father’s legacy in the annals of science fiction and historical fiction.

+For the Love of the Game

Billy Chapel never thought his life would take a wrong turn. After all, the baseball legend had given everything to baseball, garnering unsurpassed skill. But then he was betrayed and Billy found that the final game of the season would be his final chance to prove his mettle and discover what truly matters.

This book was discovered after Michael Shaara’s death and it quickly became a classic. The book follows the story of a thirty-seven-year-old pitcher who has spent the last 17 years at the same club. When he learns that he is about to be traded, Billy Chapel decides to throw his all into his final game with his team.

As Billy plays the game he loves, the book flashes back to the events that brought him to his present situation and the mistakes he made.

+The Killer Angels

This book tells the story of the day America’s courage and honor were proven true. Within the span of four days, two armies clashed on the battlefield, each determined to bring to fruition their beliefs, philosophies and way of life.

This is the novel that got Michael Shaara his Pulitzer Prize. The book delves into the Battle of Gettysburg and provides new insight into the goriest conflict to emerge from the Civil War.

Despite the large scale implications of the war, Michael endeavors to elevate the personal tales of ordinary men that are simply looking to survive the historical times in which they are living.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Michael Shaara