Here begins one of the most remarkable works of history ever fashioned. All the great battles are here, of course, from Bull Run through Shiloh, the Seven Days, Second Manassas to Antietam, and Perryville in the fall of 1862, but so are the smaller and often equally important engagements on both land and sea: Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, Island Ten, New Orleans, Monitor versus Merimac, and Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, to mention only a few.
And perhaps never before have these conflicts been so clearly, so dramatically, and so excitingly presented. The word "narrative" is the key, not only to this extraordinary book's incandescence, but also to its truth. The story is told entirely from the point of view of the people involved in it. The listener not only learns what was happening in the North and South, on the political, military, diplomatic, and home fronts, he lives through the events as if he were there. This is the way it was, in its entirety, as far as Shelby Foote could discover it during years of exhaustive research.
Bonus: In partnership with Audible and Playtone, the television and film producer behind the award-winning series Band of Brothers, John Adams, and The Pacific, this audiobook includes an original introduction, written and read by acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns. For more from Audible and Playtone, click here.
©1986 Shelby Foote (P)2011 Blackstone Audio
Absolutely! I'm sure that the nuance of emotions could not rise off the printed page as well.
As a West Point graduate, I was educated deeply in the strategy and tactics involved in the war. What was not taught were the aspects of the personal idiosyncracies of the major personnel; the impacts on the civilian population nor the political interactions. This history filled in all the cracks.
Every moment was a garden of delight.
As this is a huge file, be prepared to sacrifice shelf space.
Shelby Foote's history of the Civil War is an interesting read (or listen) though it is not without its critics, most of whom appear to take him to task for accuracy. He is not, in their view, a real "historian," and in this they may be correct. Those considerations aside, I enjoyed volume 1, though the audio version suffers from two weaknesses. First, I did not like the narrator's voice. Indeed, the audio book would have been far better if narrated by Foote himself, whose voice is perfectly suited to the material. Second, there is an annoying audio artifact - best described as a faint echo - on the version I downloaded. Whether an artifact of recording or downloading, it is real and, once noted, irritating.
yes, the book opens a window to the past
the entire volume is a joy
Mr Foote understands the period like no one else i've read.
This is a very long book and I have listened to it in short segments. It is very well written and magnificently researched but not easy to read. I needed to have a more thorough acquaintance with the names of the many minor generals to keep up with which army was prevailing. I am glad I persevered.
I have recently read Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara and Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly by Jennifer Fleischner which did not display as meticulous research but whose good research revealed a very personal touch.
There was a greater problem with the audio production than the narrator. The audio was harsh.
My favorite narrator is Barbara Rosenblat, but her talents would not be fully utilized in this narration.
It's written in story form.
no, it's much too long for that. It is very interesting and entertaining, though.
Fantastic content by Shelby Foote who himself has a fantastic and appropriate voice to have narrated this book (see Ken Burns' documentary)
The content and scholarship
The narrator needs to leave the building
Yes, extreme reaction to the adenoidal tones of the narrator.
Please re-record. This is a fantastic product ruined by its narration. Cannot bring myself to purchase the later volumes.
I love reading a variety of genres and authors - audiobooks are my new best friend as I knit or travel.
I really enjoyed the anecdotes that Foote incorporated into what otherwise might be a dry history. The narration was horrible, though. Gardner's voice is fairly monotone, the audio quality jumps around pretty wildly to my ears, and there are incredibly obvious and distracting mispronunciations (especially in the first third of the book.) When I can't sleep, I go back to this book in the Audible app and set it on a fifteen-minute sleep timer. I have yet to make it more than two minutes into the book after doing so.
I would compare it to The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin - it's the same mix of history, background information necessary to understand the subtleties of what happened when and why, and anecdotes and trivia.
Just about anyone. Wil Wheaton or Karen White would have done excellent work with this text.
I've watched Ken Burns's The Civil War three times, so I suppose I'd say yes.
This is the most complete and detailed account of the Civil War I have ever heard. The amount of time it must have taken to accumulate the data from all of the different sources must be huge. It keeps you wanting to listen more and more. Also gives you a new prospective on what you learned in US history class. The reader is great and does an awesome job .
I bought these volumes 6 months before my first trip to Gettysburg. I was a bit overwhelmed by the information given here, but I'm glad I dived in. The other criticisms are correct that this is not for the novice, unless you are well motivated. I now understand the motivations, tactics and horror so much better now and can have, at least, an elementary conversation about the war. I even had a few facts that my father hadn't heard of before, which is really hard to do. This is a work that delves very deeply into each battle on both sides with the politics included. Shelby Foote's work is amazing and if you've ever seen Ken Burn's Civil War work, look for him. His stories from this work is included.
Shelly Foote's narrative places you in the action of the battle. Also you are like a mouse in the corner while Lincoln, Lee or McClellan are speaking and writing letters. Down load the maps at any of the Civil War websites and follow the war like a mini series, my boyhood fascination of the civil war has now come alive, as I sleep, eat and fight with the blue and gray.
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