Review: Valley of the Shadow

5 Star, Fiction, History
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Ralph Peters

5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar!, May 10, 2015

I am a huge fan of Ralph Peters, who in addition to his civil war series under his own name and as Owen Parry, is a master strategist and intelligence professional who can find enemy special forces just by looking at a map and thinking. I am not sure he will ever match Cain at Gettysburg 1st (first) Edition by Peters, Ralph published by Forge Books (2012) Hardcover — that book set a new gold standard surpassing The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War (Civil War Trilogy) by six [and I hasten to add, I consider Michael Shaara gifted and only surpassed by Ralph] but I will say this: every book Ralph write surprises and delights, not just with how he delivers intimate details not found in other histories, but how he rights history — his books correct the less than accurate record and magnify what others have missed. His treatment of Early's last stand and Custer's best moment will stand for a very long time as yet another “first” for the author as historian.

Ralph is also a soldier's soldier who understands the deep pains and joys of every aspect of soldiering. He combines deep deep attention to detail with stunning turns of phrase (in this book, “scarecrows led by children” caught my early attention).

Searching for a few words that summarize this particular book, I come up with guts, thirst, heat, and time — and the recurring observation that the politicians are too often oblivious and those marginalized by the politicians often fight — and think — better than the generals favored by the politicians.

I urge those who appreciate Ralph's civil war novels to also seek out his non-fiction books, below I link to just a few that I have reviewed in detail and continue to consider classics:

Lines of Fire: A Renegade Writes on Strategy, Intelligence, and Security
Endless War: Middle-Eastern Islam vs. Western Civilization
Fighting for the Future: Will America Triumph?
Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the Twenty-First Century

Robert David STEELE Vivas
Intelligence for Earth: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability

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