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Ralph Peters: New Civil War Novel No 'Candy-Coated' Tale

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 08:39 PM

Retired Army Lt. Col Ralph Peters says his acclaimed new novel "Valley of the Shadow," is not the usual "candy-coated" rendering of the Civil War that most readers are used to.

"I'm trying to write civil war novels that really dramatize history and that are much more accurate and realistic than novels in the past," Peters said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"If you want candy-coated romantic views of the past, where everybody talks like a Victorian parson, do not buy my book. You will be offended because the soldiers talk like they really did — some never cursed, and others certainly did."

Peters said he is trying to portray the brutal reality of the Civil War in a way that has not been done before.

"[In] four years, 1861-'65, 750,000 Americans died. We need to understand the kind of sacrifices that were made in the past that shaped this country," he said.

The book covers the desperate struggle for dominance in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, the so-called "breadbasket of the Confederacy," and the South's key invasion route into the North.

Its characters include a rough-hewn Union general named Phillip Sheridan, who has an uncanny gift for inspiring soldiers, and Jubal Early, his stubborn, raw-mouthed Confederate counterpart.

There is also the dashing Yankee boy-general, George Armstrong Custer, and courageous John Brown Gordon, a charismatic Georgian.

"It covers the fighting primarily in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864. It starts with a daring Confederate raid that almost seizes Washington in July of 1864, near the end of the war," Peters told Steve Malzberg.

"The end of the war was nine months away and they almost took Washington. [It was] saved at the last minute by an incredible brave stand."

Peters' tome, published by Forge Books, has received raves, with Kirkus Reviews, calling it "a must-read for Civil War history fans. A superlative novel."

His past bestselling books include: "Cain at Gettysburg" and "Hell or Richmond."

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Retired Army Lt. Col Ralph Peters says his acclaimed new novel "Valley of the Shadow," is not the usual "candy-coated" rendering of the Civil War that most readers are used to.
ralph peters, novel, civil, war
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2015-39-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 08:39 PM
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