Focused on the pivotal year of 1863, the second volume of Shelby Foote’s masterful narrative history brings to life some of the most dramatic and important moments in the Civil War, including the Battle of Gettysburg and Grant’s Vicksburg campaign.
“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.” —The 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
About Shelby Foote
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.
"A stunning book, full of color, life, character and a new atmosphere of the Civil War, and at the same time a narrative of unflagging power. Eloquent proof that a historian should be a writer above all else. I predict that Foote's three volumes will be a turning point in the writing of Civil War history."
-- Burke Davis
"This first of a three-volume history of the Civil War is so good that the reader is apt to mistrust his instant and overpowering enthusiasm. If the subsequent works in the series are its equal, novelist Shelby Foote will have written one of the finest histories ever fashioned by an American."
-- Wirt Williams, Los Angeles Times
"The quality is high; the tone, cool and objective, yet lighted with excitements.... Foote's narrative style is first-rate, vivid, and refreshing. When the trilogy is completed it will most likely stand as the most thorough history of the-Civil War yet done."
-- Hudson Strode
"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 great, hulking book ... great in quality as well as in size. Not only does the author achieve a wonderful breadth of coverage, he also recounts the events of the war with an impressive depth of understanding. His book is a major achievement in the literature of the Civil War: good research superbly written."
-- Richard B. Harwell, Chicago Sun Tribune