Discovering Gettysburg

An Unconventional Introduction to the Greatest Little Town in America and the Monumental Battle that Made It Famous

W. Stephen Coleman

 
Date Published :
June 2017
Publisher :
Savas Beatie
Contributor(s) :
Tim Hartman
Language:
English
Illustration :
180 caricatures, 200 photos, and 9 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781611213539
Pages : 264
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In stock
$25.00

Overview
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Gettysburg.

Does any other single word in any language invoke so much passion and angst, enthusiasm and sadness, as do those ten letters? But what IS Gettysburg, exactly? I am almost embarrassed to say I discovered the answer to that question—or at least approached an answer—only late in life.

Of course, Gettysburg is a small charming city nestled in south-central Pennsylvania, but in so many ways it beggars description. For about half the year its streets are mainly empty, its businesses quiet, the weather cold and blustery. For the other months, however, the place literally teems with hundreds of thousands of visitors, bustling streets and shops, and more than a handful of unique larger-than-life characters whose fan base spans the globe.

And then there is the battle—the event—of the Civil War. The battle that raged there during the first days of July 1863 at the price of more than 50,000 casualties decided much (just how much depending upon who you believe) and forever stamped that place with its passion and angst and enthusiasm and its lingering, forever sadness. Its monuments and guns and plaques tell the story of the colossal clash of arms and societies, just as its National Cemetery bears silent witness to at least part of the cost of that bloody event.

And somehow this “greatest little town in America,” this mammoth battle, its influential characters (living and dead), its deep meaning and profound influence on our society largely escaped me for nearly six decades. That ended a couple years ago when I finally paid a visit. My journey from the uninitiated to the fully converted only took a short time, but I felt compelled to pen my experiences as they unfolded. And so you hold in your hands Discovering Gettysburg: An Unconventional Introduction to the Greatest Little Town in America and the Monumental Battle that Made It Famous.

In it, you will visit with me a host of famous and off-the-beaten-path places on the battlefield, explore the historic town of Gettysburg as it is today, chat with some of the town’s fascinating “resources,” and follow along, as I did, with some of the most engaging storytelling I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. And nowhere inside will you be bothered with footnotes or stumble your way through academic mumbo jumbo. Thankfully, my friend and award-winning cartoonist Tim Hartman agreed to provide the magnificent maps and outstanding caricatures that grace this book.

Discovering Gettysburg is, I fully admit, rather unconventional. But so is the place, the event, and the experience of that hallowed ground.

About The Author
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Stephen Coleman has spent most of his adult life as a professor of theater at the University of Pittsburgh. A specialist in Shakespeare, acting, directing, and stage combat, he taught for more than 30 years and practiced his craft on stage and screen, including roles in Silence of the Lambs, where he had the pleasure of being literally defaced by the epicurean Hannibal Lecter and in the PBS Series The War That Made America, where as the ill-fated General Braddock he was shot from the back of a horse. It was only after he retired that he discovered a new interest: The Civil War, and especially, Gettysburg.

Tom Hartman is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has been professionally acting, singing, writing, cartooning, and storytelling since 1982. Though known primarily for his work on the stage, including nearly 300 plays and musicals, including appearances on Broadway in “A Tale of Two Cities” and the Tony nominated “Finian’s Rainbow,” Tim’s favorite job is performing his own brand of stand-up comedy storytelling for children and family audiences. He is also an award-winning political cartoonist and illustrator whose work has appeared widely in newspapers.

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