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'Gettysburg,' the Prequel: 'Gods and Generals'

Gods and Generals arrives in theaters. It's a film based on novelist Jeff Shaara's inner look at key Civil War figures in the early years of the conflict. Director Ron Maxwell also handled Gettysburg. That film was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Killer Angels, written by Shaara's father Michael. NPR's Bob Mondello offers a review.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.