This novel, the journey of Pip from boyhood to young manhood, has become Dickens' greatest novel. The many tests of character that Pip confronts, as well as Dickens' characters, remain in the mind a long time after the book is read.
The book tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg from the points of view of four main characters: Lee and Longstreet on the Confederate side, and Buford and Chamberlain on the Union side. It retells actual events day by day and conveys the emotions felt by participants in the most famous battle of the Civil War. Michael Shaara's choice of characters enables him to describe the action and battle strategy from many levels of command and from various locations.