Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s American Heroes: Joshua Chamberlin and the American Civil War

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Musician, linguist, college professor, farmer, husband, and father-Joshua Chamberlain was a Renaissance man, living a full and satisfying life in rural Maine when the Civil War Broke out. Chamberlain's passionate belief in keeping our young country together inspired him to join the Union Army. He quickly proved himself to be a brilliant strategist and great leader of men, who never hesitated to fight every battle on the front lines.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tells the fascinating ...

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Andreev, Nikita 2007 Hard cover New in fine dust jacket. Remainder Glued binding. Paper over boards. Picture book. With dust jacket. 38 p. Contains: Illustrations. American ... Heroes (Hyperion). Audience: Children/juvenile. Read more Show Less

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Nikita Andreev New York, New York, U.S.A. 2007 Hard Cover New in New jacket 8 1/2 x 10. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. 's American Heroes series. Tells the story of Chamberlain's life, ... focusing on his extraordinary bravery and inspiring leadership during some of the most bloody and decisive battles of the Civil War. Illustrated. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Musician, linguist, college professor, farmer, husband, and father-Joshua Chamberlain was a Renaissance man, living a full and satisfying life in rural Maine when the Civil War Broke out. Chamberlain's passionate belief in keeping our young country together inspired him to join the Union Army. He quickly proved himself to be a brilliant strategist and great leader of men, who never hesitated to fight every battle on the front lines.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tells the fascinating and dramatic story of Chamberlain's life, focusing on his extraordinary bravery and inspiring leadership during some of the most bloody and decisive battles of the Civil War.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was one of the approximately three million American soldiers to fight in the Civil War. A teacher by trade, Chamberlain left a comfortable position at Bowdoin College to join the 20th Maine Infantry in 1862. During the three years that Chamberlain served he rose to the rank of Major General and eventually won the Congressional Medal of Honor. On July 2, 1863, at Little Roundtop near the town of Gettysburg, Chamberlain's inspired defense of that critical position may well have saved the Union army on that bloody field. The life of this brave and intelligent man is told in this illustrated biography. Author Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. places Chamberlain in his historical context and focuses attention on his exploits and experiences during America's bloodiest war. Although the writing is at times a bit hyperbolic, the overall result of this effort is a satisfactory one. One of the stronger features of this title is the illustrations. These paintings by Nikita Andreev at times tell the story of Joshua Chamberlain's wartime efforts more clearly than even the text. The end result is that readers will come away from Kennedy's book with a reasonable introduction to an American soldier they hopefully will pursue at a later date and in greater depth. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6
Chamberlain was a Bowdoin College professor when the Civil War began. Volunteering for the Union army, he made his name during the Battle of Gettysburg and through several other acts of bravery, going on to become a general. At Appomattox, General Grant put him in charge of the formal surrender ceremony. Kennedy is clear about his intentions: "I wrote this book in the hope that our children will put a higher value on America and its freedoms if they understand the high price at which these things were purchased by an earlier generation...." Using short chapters, he highlights Chamberlain's military feats in a fast-paced, almost breathless style. War is shown as dangerous but also in a way exciting-Chamberlain takes on a superhero quality: he was repeatedly wounded and had "six horses...shot out from under him." "His unconquerable spirit and will to live" saved him as he continued to fight. Kennedy's admiring style is refreshingly old-fashioned in this day of tell-all celebrities. If Chamberlain had any faults, readers do not learn of them. Care is taken to note the brave men and terrible human losses on both sides of the conflict, but readers will need to look elsewhere for fuller discussions of the causes of the war. Quotations from Chamberlain's letters and speeches help capture the spirit of the time. Maps, photographs, and full-page color illustrations are included.
—Lucinda Snyder WhitehurstCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Following in the footsteps of his illustrious uncle (or his uncle's ghostwriter, perhaps), Kennedy profiles a historical figure who, in his view, exemplified the brand of courage and intellect required to keep this country the Land of the Free. Here he highlights the career of Chamberlain, a Maine "citizen soldier" who commanded Union troops in 24 battles, most notably the stout defense of Gettysburg's Little Round Top and Big Round Top. Those last actions alone, in the author's moot but thrilling estimation, "saved our country from destruction." Overheated rhetoric aside, Kennedy does make a good case in this engrossing, well-told tale for more recognition of Chamberlain's heroic achievements both on and off the battlefield. Illustrations include accurately detailed color sketches, a map and a pair of portrait photos. (brief reading list) (Biography. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423107712
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Series: American Heroes Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is a lawyer with the Pace University environmental clinic, and is well known for his dedication to activism. He has written two books for adults, and one other book for children, St. Francis of Assisi: A Live of Joy . He lives with his wife and children in Westchester County, New York.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Chamberlain was a Good Union General

    I purchased this book knowing that it was for children; however, I was dismayed by several inaccuracies that a fact-checker should have caught. One of these was that at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Chamberlain was thrown from his horse into the Potomac River. This is no mean feat since Fredericksburg is on the Rappahannock River, the Potomac being on the order of 30 miles away. The second of these is that the War Between the States Lasted five (5) years. If my math is right, from April 1861 to April 1865 is four (4) years.
    If this book is an example of what passes for history to be taught to our children, it is no wonder that we will have a generation either doomed to knowing no history, or at best not knowing it correctly.
    I would use it for the classroom ONLY by indicating the errors in the book and how one should not let the historical facts be sacrificed for a good story.
    Chamberlain's character throughout the book is of the highest order. As a Virginian, I appreciate his actions at Appamattox.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    A reviewer

    When I received my package I was surprised and dismayed to find this is a children's book. It is probably for a middle school or earlier audience. It is well done, with nice illustrations, but not what I expected. I reviewed the web site again and don't see that it is identified by reader type.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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