Jeff Shaara is a 14 time consecutive New York Times Best Selling Author. Before becoming a writer, Jeff operated a rare coin business out of his home at the age of 16. After moving to Tampa and having his own retail store, Jeff became one of the most widely known precious-metals dealers in Florida. In 1988, Jeff decided to sell his business and manage his father’s estate after his father, Michael Shaara, died.
Jeff’s father, Michael, was the Pulitzer prize winning author of the class novel,The Killer Angels, which was the main inspiration behind the 1993 movie “Gettysburg”. Directed by Ron Maxwell, “Gettysburg” was a commercial and critical success, considered one of the greatest war movies of all time. After the success of the film, Jeff was asked to consider the possibility of finding someone to write a prequel and sequel to The Killer Angels. It was a difficult decision to make, but after much thought Jeff decided he would do the project himself, a very challenging decision considering Jeff had no previous experience as a writer.
In 1996, Ballantine Books released Jeff’s first novel,Gods and Generals, the prequel to his father’s novel. Gods and Generals was praised by critics nationwide and stayed on the New York Times Bestseller List for fifteen weeks, as well as being awarded the American Liberty Association’s Prestigious “Boyd Award” and was made into a movie in 2003 . Jeff’s second novel The Last Full Measure, was released as the sequel in 1998. The Last Full Measure also became a fan and critic favorite nationwide as well as also hitting the New York Times Bestseller List and stayed there for thirteen weeks.
Since Jeff’s first novels, he went on to write a wide variety of novels covering many different wars. In 2000, Jeff released Gone For Soldiers, covering the Mexican War. Rise to Rebellion and The Glorious Cause– a 2-volume set on the American Revolution were published next. To the Last Man a one volume story on World War One was published in 2004 and made Jeff the only two time recipient of the American Library Association’s “William Young Boyd Award”.Jeff Shaara’s Civil War Battlefields was a non fiction look at America’s Civil War battlefields.The Rising Tide was the first of a four book series on World War 2, followed by The Steel Wave,No Less Than Victory, and The Final Storm-all New York Times Bestsellers. In 2012, A Blaze of Glory hit the shelves as the first volume of a four volume Civil War series. Focused more in the “Western” area of the war, A Blaze of Glory was followed up by A Chain of Thunder, The Smoke at Dawn, and finally The Fateful Lightning-Making Jeff a 15 time New York Bestselling Author.
To find out more about Jeff, you can visit his website at jeffshaara.com.
When asked what books Jeff reads and what he recommends, Jeff says “My list might sound a little strange, since I don’t read “modern” books. Most of my reading has to do with my own research, trying to find the “voices” of the characters in each of my books. Thus, the ones that stand out:
The Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
The Passing of the Armies: An Account of the Final Campaign of the Army of the Potomac, Based upon Personal Reminiscences of the Fifth Army Corps
My Experiences in the World War: Vol 1 (Military Classics Series) by John Joseph Pershing
The Eisenhower Diaries
A Soldier’s Story by Omar Bradley
The Patton Papers
I Flew with the Lafayette Escadrille by Edwin Parsons
Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer by G Moxley Sorrel
Four Years with General Lee by Walter Taylor
On to Berlin: Battles of an Airborne Commander by James M. Gavin
My Three Years With Eisenhower: The Personal Diary of Captain Harry C. Butcher
Reminiscences of Winfield Scott Hancock by Almira Hancock
Memoirs of Stonewall Jackson by Mary Anna Jackson
The Class of 1846 by John C Waugh
On historians Shaara also said: “Probably the best historians I have relied upon include Sir Basil Liddell Hart, Robert Leckie, Martin Russ, and Carlo D’Este”