Synopses & Reviews
"This, then, is narrative history—a kind of history that goes back to an older literary tradition.... The writing is superb...one of the historical and literary achievements of our time." —The Washington Post Book World
"Gettysburg...is described with such meticulous attention to action, terrain, time, and the characters of the various commanders that I understand, at last, what happened in that battle.... Mr. Foote has an acute sense of the relative importance of events and a novelist's skill in directing the reader's attention to the men and the episodes that will influence the course of the whole war, without omitting items which are of momentary interest. His organization of facts could hardly be better." —Atlantic
"Though the events of this middle year of the Civil War have been recounted hundreds of times, they have rarely been re-created with such vigor and such picturesque detail." —The New York Times Book Review
"The lucidity of the battle narratives, the vigor of the prose, the strong feeling for the men from generals to privates who did the fighting, are all controlled by constant sense of how it happened and what it was all about. Foote has the novelist's feeling for character and situation, without losing the historian's scrupulous regard for recorded fact. The Civil War is likely to stand unequaled." —Walter Mills
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Here, for a certainty, is one of the great historical narratives of our century, a unique and brilliant achievement, one that must be firmly placed in the ranks of the masters...a stirring and stupendous synthesis of history." Van Allen Bradley, Chicago Daily News
"A grand, sweeping narrative...will continue to be read and remembered as a classic of its kind." Richard N. Current, N.Y. Herald Tribune
With These Words, Shelby Foote begins a tremendous, sweeping narrative of the most fascinating conflict in our history -- a war which lasted four long, bitter years, an experience more profound and meaningful than any other the American people have ever lived through.
This volume -- the first of three -- opens with Jefferson Davis' resignation from the United States Senate and Abraham Lincoln's departure from Springfield for the national capital; and these two leaders, whose lives continually touch on the great chain of events throughout the story, are only the first of scores of exciting personalities which in effect make The Civil War: A Narrative a multiple biography set against the crisis of an age.
All the great battles are here, of course, from Bull Run through Shiloh, the Seven Days, Second Manassas to Antietam
Already recognized as one of the finest histories ever fashioned by an American, this is a narrative of over a million and a half words which recreates on a vast and brilliant canvas the events and personalities of an American epic: The Civil War.
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time
A stunning literary and historical achievement, the three volumes of Shelby Foote’ s The Civil War vividly bring to life the four years of torment and strife that altered American life forever. Presented in a handsome boxed set, these three beautifully bound hardcovers are an essential addition to every American history collection.
Taking the reader from the drama of Jefferson Davis’s resignation from the United States Senate and Abraham Lincoln’s arrival in the nation’s capital to Davis’s final flight and capture and Lincoln’s tragic death, Foote covers his subject with astonishing depth and scope. Every battle, every general, and every statesman has its place in this monumental narrative, told in lively prose that captures the sights, smells, and sounds of the conflict. Never before have the great battles and personalities of the Civil War been so excitingly presented, and never before has the story been told so completely.
With a novelist’s gift for narrative and a historian’s commitment to research, Shelby Foote’s epic retelling is the definitive account of the Civil War, a trilogy that has earned a place of honor on the bookshelves of all Americans.
About the Author
Shelby Foote was born on November 7, 1916 in Greenville, Mississippi, and attended school there until he entered the University of North Carolina. During World War II he served as a captain of field artillery but never saw combat. After World War II he worked briefly for the Associated Press in their New York bureau. In 1953 he moved to Memphis, where he lived for the remainder of his life.
Foote was the author of six novels: Tournament, Follow Me Down, Love in a Dry Season, Shiloh, Jordan County, and September, September. He is best remembered for his 3-volume history The Civil War: A Narrative, which took twenty years to complete and resulted in his being a featured expert in Ken Burns' acclaimed Civil War documentary. Over the course of his writing career, Foote was also awarded three Guggenheim fellowships.
Shelby Foote died in 2005 at the age of 88.