Jul 05, 2020
The Civil War Trilogy with American Homer: Reflections on Shelby Foote
Posted by Shelby Foote Jon Meacham

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Modern Library publishes Shelby Foote s three volume masterpiece in a new boxed set including three hardcovers and a new trade paperback, American Homer Reflections on Shelby Foote and His Classic Civil War A Narrative, editedSelected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all timeOn the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Modern Library publishes Shelby Foote s three volume masterpiece in a new boxed set including three hardcovers and a new trade paperback, American Homer Reflections on Shelby Foote and His Classic Civil War A Narrative, edited by and with an introduction from Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham and including essays by Michael Beschloss, Ken Burns, Annette Gordon Reed, and others.Random House publisher Bennett Cerf commissioned southern novelist Shelby Foote to write a short, one volume history of the American Civil War Thirty years and a million and a half words later every word having been written out longhand with nib pens dipped into ink Foote published the third and final volume of what has become the classic narrative of that epic war.As he approached the end of the final volume, Foote recounted this scene in a letter to his friend, the novelist Walker Percy I killed Lincoln last week Saturday, at noon While I was doing it he had his chest arched up, holding his last breath to let it out some halfassed doctor came to the door with vols I and II under his arm, wanting me to autograph them for his son for Xmas I was in such a state of shock, I not only let him in I even signed the goddam books, a thing I seldom do Then I turned back and killed him and had Stanton say, Now he belongs to the ages A strange feeling, though I have another 70 odd pages to go, and I have a fear they ll be like Hamlet with Hamlet left out Christ, what a man It s been a great thing getting to know him as he was, rather than as he has come to be a sort of TV image of himself, with a ghost alongside When Percy read the final book, he wrote to Foote It s a noble work I m still staggered by the size of the achievement It is The Iliad A selection of these letters, along with essays by Jon Meacham, Michael Beschloss, Ken Burns, Annette Gordon Reed, Michael Eric Dyson, Julia Reed, Robert Loomis, Donald Graham, John M McCardell, Jr and Jay Tolson, are included in American Homer, the bonus paperback book available only in the Modern Library boxed set of The Civil War Shelby Foote s tremendous, sweeping narrative of the most fascinating conflict in our history a war that lasted four long, bitter years, an experience profound and meaningful than any other the American people have ever lived through begins with Jefferson Davis s resignation from the United States Senate and Abraham Lincoln s departure from Springfield for the national capital It is these two leaders, whose lives continually touch on the great chain of events throughout the story, who are only the first of scores of exciting personalities that in effect make The Civil War a multiple biography set against the crisis of an age.Four years later, Lincoln s second inaugural sets the seal, invoking charity for all on the Eve of Five Forks and the Grant Lee race for Appomattox Here is the dust and stench of war, a sort of Twilight of the Gods The epilogue is Lincoln in his grave, and Davis in his postwar existence Lucifer in Starlight So ends a unique achievement already recognized as one of the finest histories ever fashioned by an American a narrative that re creates on a vast and brilliant canvas the events and personalities of an American epic the Civil War.

  • Title: The Civil War Trilogy with American Homer: Reflections on Shelby Foote
  • Author: Shelby Foote Jon Meacham
  • ISBN: 9780679643708
  • Page: 262
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Civil War Trilogy with American Homer Reflections on Shelby Foote Selected by the Modern Library as one of the best nonfiction books of all time On the occasion of the th anniversary of the Civil War the Modern Library publishes Shelby Foote s three volume m


    In time, even death itself might be abolished who knows but it may be given to us after this life to meet again in the old quarters, to play chess and draughts, to get up soon to answer the morning roll call, to fall in at the tap of the drum for drill and dress parade, and again to hastily don our war gear while the monotonous patter of the long roll summons to battle Who knows but again the old flags, ragged and torn, snapping in the wind, may face each other and flutter, pursuing and pursued, [...]


    May 3, 20113 volumes, 1000 pages each this is going to take a while But I ve just finished Volume 1 Fort Sumpter to Perryville and since at this rate I won t finish the whole thing for another year I thought I d make some initial notes Basically this is glorious I m not a Civil War buff, and I m certainly not interested in getting down into the weeds of whether Foote gets this or that detail exactly right, or is fair or unfair to this or that general The things that impress here are 1 the sheer [...]


    Shelby Foote was commissioned to write a concise narrative of the American Civil War in 1958, following his great success with the book, Shiloh The project grew beyond the bounds of the original plan from Random House, and blossomed into one of the greatest works ever written about the war Foote was born in Mississippi, but was later transplanted to Memphis His was the first Southern voice to describe the Civil War in than a generation In spite of his background, he is no disciple of the lost c [...]

    Ryan Holiday

    Having read and enjoyed Shelby Foote s novel Shiloh which I highly recommend , I was motivated to attempt his magnum opus, the one million plus word trilogy The Civil War The books are surprisingly readable, come in a bright box set and are great for flipping through if you have any background with the Civil War, I suggest reading the introduction and then skipping around and reading about the battles or figures you re interested in For me, that included William T Sherman, Nathan Bedford Forrest [...]


    I couldn t find a listing for just Volume 3 Red River to Appomattox which I finished this year Last year I read the first two volumes This is the last volume which covered Grant arriving in Washington to take up duties as commander and looking like a scruffy nonentity who was offered a room in the attic of Willard s Hotel until the clerk saw his name to the death of Jefferson Davis Foote is a southerner after all Really great work it s taken me a couple of years to read it.There I think Foote fo [...]


    I have read this set half a dozen times for a while there I re read them every summer Foote was a novelist before he was a historian, and it shows in his style The books give a fairly even handed treatment of the military history of the American civil war, using actual quotes to flesh out the interactions among the characters to a surprising extent One of the best histories I ve ever read.

    Donna Davis

    I purchased Foote s trilogy because it was a well known trilogy about the American Civil War All told, it was a waste of time and money.I had read Battle Cry of Freedom, and become much interested in this field than when I began teaching it to 8th graders I read one of Sears books, a couple by McPherson, and some that dealt with African Americans, both in slavery, in the resistance to slavery, and their participation, which is considered pivotal, in the Civil War.Here are some of the ways in w [...]

    Bill Rogers

    Shelby Foote was the silver haired gentleman with the Robert E Lee beard who had such interesting anecdotes to tell during Ken Burns s documentary series The Civil War How do you think he got that job By writing this trilogy, that s how Umpty ump thousand pages, and he did it on paper With a dip pen no less He said, in an interview I saw, that he got a better rhythm that way I believe it Often I find myself turning to pen and paper too, although I ve never gone so far as dip pens There s certain [...]

    Mowena Glunch

    This is probably the leading complete history of the Civil War, which for me means there is a great opportunity for someone to write something better.Good things 1 Good turn of phrase 2 Good ability to paint a full personality.Problems 1 Too strong a bias in favor of South.2 Too strong a bias in favor of covering less important western action.3 Too much filler Could have trimmed 25% 33% of total words.4 For me, needed and better maps, with dates and times on them.5 Would have benefitted from a [...]


    Over many years I have read about many Civil War battles, and the problems that Lincoln faced, but this is the first time I have learned in any detail about what the South thought was going on Without claiming sympathy with the motives of the Lost Cause, Shelby Foote presented a number of speeches and other denunciations of Yankee tyranny, barbarism, cruelty, and alleged racial inferiority from Jefferson Davis and various political and military figures of the Confederacy, and their claim to be t [...]


    Still have a couple hundred pages in the last volume because I got waylaid with other books to review for actual money but Foote s Civil War is a true masterpiece His friend Walker Percy famously called it an American Iliad, which description I cannot dispute.

    Carl R.

    It s finally over I turned the last page of Shelby Foote s You may remember Foote as the gentlemanly, professorial presence in Ken Burns PBS series monster narration of the civil war Close to 3000 pages detailing every military and political battle in those horrendous four plus years of slaughter that stand as a monument to human obstinacy and idiocy Why I needed to do this, when I ve already read so much about all this over the years, I can t possibly explain Probably a 12 step program would he [...]


    This magisterial work is the best book that I ve read on the Civil War Incredibly well researched, but if you re looking for something with a lot of footnotes for your own work or research, this isn t it however, if you re an American history buff or simply a fan of good writing, you should read these books.Don t be deterred by the length It s well worth it The book is written obviously as a narrative, not in the sense of historical fiction, but in a prose style most people don t typically assoc [...]

    Nick Black

    Confederate troops wore not just grey, but also butternut.

    Ben Hallman

    I wander back into Shelby Foote s Civil War trilogy every few years, partly out of an enduring love for the work, partly from five years or so having to pass for the entirety of its contents to have dribbled out of my sieve like mind Out of all the books I ve read, I can t think of another series that leaves me in such a state of awe, both at the history told and the historian who tells it No amount of hyperbole conveys my love for Foote s masterpiece These books are history at its best, not a c [...]


    Later on in this shitty year, well into our terrible future, I ll get to a point where I can sit down and record my brain vibrations regarding the 3,000 or so pages of Shelby Foote I lobbed into their heavily bombarded homeland over the course of the last year Hell, I think at this point I genuinely owe it to the world at large, given the amount of curiosity I ve garnered by bringing any of the three volumes into various bars, restaurants and coffee houses.eve it, comrades it is not an invisible [...]


    The first book I purchased in this trilogy was the middle book I was so caught up in the writing I read on the pages I d skimmed in that Walden Books or some other long gone purveyors of mass printed books that I had not noticed that fact.This was the almost late 1980s I d somehow become dawn to read Civil War history this was before Ken Burns PBS series made its initial run.When I realized it was a trilogy, I decided to go on to volume three From there, I went to the first volume and read all t [...]


    Foote s 3 volume narrative history of the Civil War is considered the definitive history for a very good reason it is almost unbelievably complete and, at the same time, wonderfully charactered Foote finds aspects of personality and upbringing that cast every major figure of the civil war in almost an entirely unique light Plus his recounting of politics, warfare and national character as all three evolved throughout the course of the war really helps you understand why understanding the civil w [...]


    This is the first of many volumes on the Civil War, this one covering the time from Lincoln s election through secession to Fort Henry I like the author s style, relating the events from the viewpoint of both the Southern and Northern states It is not a fast read, but definitely fascinating I knew very little about the Civil War other than a few things I remembered from American History many years ago I was amazed at the problems, mistakes, rivalries, and misjudgements that occurred on both side [...]

    Gerry Huntman

    Forgot about this trio so I will add a few wordsI am fascinated by the US Civil War and it doesn t take much to get my interest flowing, if the topic is covered Then there is Shelby Foote s masterpiece.I don t want to quibble over detail, not that there is much to quibble over, and it can be left to the hard core historians, but Shelby s work is huge, and easy to read it is a narrative history, after all It is immense in size and had to be so, as it covers material not only the handful of years [...]


    The best book I ve read recently is The Civil War A Narrative by Shelby Foote It is kind of a commitment three fairly hefty volumes But it is far entertaining than one expects I bought it at a used book store after seeing him Foote on a dvd of the PBS series, The Civil War The series was outstanding in large part because of Foote s contributions, so I thought to myself, I really liked listening to this guy talk, so maybe I ll like reading his book.I did, and very much so He manages to balance a [...]


    What a superb piece of writing The very best historical works, for me, have always been those which have a strong narrative voice I think the origins of this taste lie in my early reading of Herodotus epic recounting of the Persian Wars I m a big fan of objectivity as well, but I don t really mind when the author s voice comes through I think it re enforces the fact that history is a human endeavour This is why history forms the foundation for the humanities It s the story of human activities, w [...]


    I don t buy books much any blame the library right around the corner for that This million page history is good enough to read every couple years So I put Vol 1 on my Christmas list, and by next Christmas, I will probably have read Vol 2 and will ask for the final bloody volume Shelby Foote is clear, cogent, and even handed And pretty smart The action in the West is well documented The progression of the war is easy to follow and Foote used primary sources extensively from what I could tell I ne [...]


    Just read this series of books for the second time If anything, the first time was five stars, and this time was better All History should be this well researched, and this well written As a bookend for Grant s memoirs it can not be beat.This has been called a Masterwork, and it is Shelby foot may not have written too many books, but it is clear he understood the art and craft of writing, and brought that approachability to over 20 years of research Its a history book that I was sorry ended exce [...]


    When we moved to DC in 1990 and then Arlington in 1992 , I went on a civil war kick, since we were in the heart of so many battlefields, and as an homage to my Dad, who was fascinated with the Civil War his grandfather was a boy when Sherman marched through his town of McDonough, GA I read a ton of books on the subject this 3 volume series is, I think, my favorite series on the War Lots of great detail, plus interesting asides, personal stories, and all well written I was sorry when I was finish [...]

    Richard Anderson

    You really can t talk about these volumes without going overboard Foote s account is stately and Homeric it glorifies and romanticizes the War in a way that would be inconceivable after Vietnam he wrote it in the fifties and early sixties It s probably the most detailed popular account that we ll have for quite some time When I was young the part of the South I lived in was still fighting the conflict, so I come by my fascination with it honestly, and I must say reading and listening on Audible [...]


    Read over the course of a summer several years ago purchased for a song from the BN bargain shelves Comprehensive doesn t cover it You ll never hold all the names, notables and nuance in your head don t bother trying One of the few histories of the Civil War that lends the appropriate weight to the Western campaigns the only one I ve read that got the story of Little Round Top right.

    Paula Hebert

    I first discovered shelby foote while watching ken burns civil war I am fascinated by this period of history, anthese three volumes are the ultimate detailed record they describe the battles, politics, biographies, and much of the human reaction to war, soldiers and people warred upon great stuff if that s your interest.

    Paul O"Leary

    An amazing read that took me over a year to get through all three volumes , but completely worth the investment This is historical narrative, so no footnotes litter each page just Shelby doing what Shelby does so well telling the complete story of the American Civil War Absolutely delightful History for the mainstream at its best.


    Great way to kill a year of your time As I remember it, Foote does an excellent job writing history forward rather than backwards Tells the stories of all the major players invovled in the war this isn t just a Grant vs Lee history.

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      262 Shelby Foote Jon Meacham
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      Posted by:Shelby Foote Jon Meacham
      Published :2019-09-03T15:25:09+00:00