If you read one book about the Civil War, this is the one. Best of the three volumes in terms of literary quality. Foote waxes philosophical without ever being preachy and gives safely probable interpretations of the facts without being facile. The reader is quite listenable as well.
As is true about all three volumes, even if you don't care a bit about the American Civil War, listening to Shelby Foote's prose is worth the ticket every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Grover Gardner gets it. You should too.
In my lifetime I have read numerous books on the civil war. Nothing however comes close to matching this three volume narrative. From the opening of the first volume to the close of the third I was enthralled and captivated by the story as it unfolded.
I like to read but listening is better.
The third volume in the series tells the story of the North's victory, the South's defeat, and the aftermath. Foote does a wonderful job of tying it all together. The death of Abraham Lincoln is covered in detail. The first character introduced in the series was Jefferson Davis, and he is also the last character to be covered in the series. Sherman is the star of this final volume.
As an auditory learner, I much prefer books narrated.
The Ken Burns Filmography on the same subject, which is not as detailed.
I listened to "The Stand" by Stephen King, and "Jurassic Park" which may have been him, though it was unaccredited if it was. The Stand was excellent, and exceptionally well done.
I probably would have reacted more emotionally to this work if it had been given the dramatized aspects that Ken Burn's work had.
I'll let this review stand for all three volumes. It is probably the most comprehensive and detailed account of the period of the civil war to ever be published, and it is delivered in masterful aspect. Gardner was in my opinion one of only three narrators who could have pulled this off, the other two being David McCullough, who could have done it better, and possibly Simon Vance.
Superbly written and movingly read, this series is not to be missed by any American citizen who can be encouraged to listen to it. All should.