One question: how can author Jeff Shaara, author of “A Blaze of Glory,” the new Civil War novel about the Battle of Shiloh, know what Sherman might have said on that day 150 years ago?
Because, Shaara said recently, he’s confident in the research he has always done.
“Someone once said to me, ‘How dare you put words into the mouth of Robert E. Lee?’ ” Shaara said. “But if I dare to do that, I do the research.”
Shaara has earned praise for the accuracy of his novels of historical fiction.
But not his dialogue. I loved The Killer Angels but I don’t believe Jeff Shaara inherited much from his father beyond his interest in the war. Michael’s writing was touching and human where Jeff’s is clunky and two-dimensional. I’d tell him to cut back on the research and feel a bit more, but I think better advice would be to get out of fiction altogether.