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The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian Audiobook
The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian
Written by: 
Shelby Foote
Narrated by: 
Grover Gardner, Ken Burns
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The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian Audiobook

The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian

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Publisher's Summary

This volume is dominated by the almost continual confrontation of great armies. For the fourth time, the Army of the Potomac (now under the control of Burnside) attempts to take Richmond, resulting in the bloodbath at Fredericksburg. Then Joe Hooker tries again, only to be repulsed at Chancellorsville as Stonewall Jackson turns his flank, a bitter victory for the South, paid for by the death of Lee's foremost lieutenant.

In the West, during the six-month standoff that followed the shock of Murfreesboro in the central theater, one of the most complex and determined sieges of the war has begun. Here, Grant's seven relentless efforts against Vicksburg show Lincoln that he has at last found his killer-general, the man who can "face the arithmetic".

With Vicksburg finally under siege, Lee again invades the North. The three-day conflict at Gettysburg receives book-length attention in a masterly treatment of a key great battle, not as legend has it but as it really was, before it became distorted by controversy and overblown by remembered glory.

Don't miss the other volumes in Shelby Foote's Civil War: A Narrative series.

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.

©1963 Shelby Foote; (P) Blackstone Audiobooks

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  •  
    theCavalier Albuquerque, NM, US 06-20-14
    theCavalier Albuquerque, NM, US 06-20-14 Member Since 2015

    Well, I'm very focused on certain books. You have all the Asimov books I want, but by some unbelievable oversight, no Robots and Empire!

    ratings
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    15
    4
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    "A work for the ages"
    Where does The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Reviewing Shelby Foote's narrative is almost as complicated as the material it proposes to explain. Brining the Civil War to the average reader (listener) is difficult in itself; it is grim history, and that is the only thing everyone agrees on. Limited to facts, it's dry and short, because every piece of information comes from the writing of those intimately involved in a radical clash of viewpoints, so facts come in the form of dates, names, and sometimes, numbers. Foote endeavored, therefore, to put a narrative forward, not a history, and as such, this is a masterwork. But even Foote had his point of view, as a Mississippian in the late 1950's to early 1960's, and so it is good to know as much history as there is before diving into the nearly six full days of solid narration. Foote's bias is, not surprisingly, toward the south, and is very subtle, so if you know the history as well as the average student, you will find yourself filling in the blanks without thought. Blanks are the primary vehicle of bias for Foote, along with some understatement, a little overstatement, and conclusions that are not wrong, but not provable either. The bias also tends to highlight the deeds of armies, which are not the main focus of the narrative, which makes itself indispensable by tying the economy, politics, interpersonal military relationships, even the weather, into a story that the reader will not put down after the first chapter of dusty names and numbers. In this way it has not only become shorthand for historians, but appeals to academicians and casual readers alike. As I said, it is complicated, but less that 5 stars of 5 is not a credible score.

    The performance is almost flawless. This may sound like hyperbole, but I've listened to it backward and forward, and it doesn't get old; Gardner's reading is both businesslike and interesting, and aside for a problem pronouncing Spanish town names in New Mexico, hits names, dates, intonation, inflection, structure and cadence despite the quaint turn of phrase from the 1860's, the complicated sentences that Foote enjoyed, and the rapid change from dry humor to dark descriptions that litter the text. It is completely enjoyable.

    The weakness of this package is the overall quality. I was disappointed to find that the recording is noticeably uneven, making editing breaks so obvious as to be distracting at times. Even so, the Gardner and Foote make this, warts notwithstanding, something that anyone interested in our country's first major course correction.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory United States 04-09-14
    Gregory United States 04-09-14 Member Since 2013
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    15
    14
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    "Shelby Foote!!!!!!!"

    If you are interested in the graceful and compelling use of the language, seek out Shelby Foote. If you couldn't care less about the Civil War but love a well turned phrase, buy this book. If you are interested in the Civil War and value a well turned phrase, this is manna from the gods. Don't pass it by. Grover Gardner is fine but I couldn't help wishing ole Shel' was still around to add his laconic and often bemused, voice to the whole thing. Sorry I missed that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rlb Michigan 01-22-14
    Rlb Michigan 01-22-14 Member Since 2015

    Ryan

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    32
    2
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    Story
    "Civil War, A Narrative. Yes!"

    Shelby Foote's Civil War narrative is one of the best records of American history that I have come across. He does an amazing job of walking the reader/listener through the "story" of the civil war. His descriptions of major players and their person histories help to give context and appreciation to all sorts moments in the war, big and small. He manages to describe the war in great detail without coming across as just listing facts, but as one who is intimately aware of how it all fit together and and loves to tell the story.

    The audio set is narrated by Grover Gardner, who does a solid job of reading. It took me a bit to adjust to his voice, as it wasn't quite what I had envisioned in my head prior to beginning, but by the time you are a few hours in, it sounds and feels natural and right.

    Picking up any of the volumes is a LARGE commitment, with each volume has a play time of around 40 hours, and the total for all three parts coming in at about 130 hours. With this in mind, it is likely that most will not jump in and run straight through all three, and probably not a single volume either.

    The second volume is the longest of three, but also deals with the "busiest" mid-section of the war, including the battle of Gettysburg and fall of Vicksburg. I noticed that there were a number of recording level inconsistencies in this volume that I had not noticed in the first. Often there would be sections at a significantly lower or louder volume. Most of these were only for a few sentences, which makes me believe they were re-reads edited in much later, but there are a few longer sections as well.

    In any case, if you want to learn what happened in the American Civil War, get this book and listen/read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Doerr CA USA 11-17-13
    K. Doerr CA USA 11-17-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great read"

    This is the best history I've ever read. Foote has a real talent as a story teller.

    The Narration is also top notch.

    I'm not a professional historian, so I cannot judge the quality of this work from that viewpoint. But if you are a casual reader who wants to know more about the Civil War, this is probably as good as it gets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 11-09-13
    Susan 11-09-13
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    2
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    "Not for the novice"
    Where does The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I couldn't follow the time line because there were no dates, or states mentioned. Battles were blurred by politics and I lost focus. DISAPPOINTED.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Platypus 08-05-13
    Platypus 08-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to follow"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Less detail


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Don't know


    How could the performance have been better?

    Less detail


    What character would you cut from The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian?

    Don't know, lost interest.


    Any additional comments?

    A very ponderous book that is too difficult to follow for those of us not born in the USA.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BradBrad SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 05-30-13
    BradBrad SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 05-30-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Second to None!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely


    What other book might you compare The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian to and why?

    See below


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A great story still needs a voice- he keeps you engaged throughout- which is an impressive feat for a 40 hour listen.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not that kind of book


    Any additional comments?

    Grover Gardener does a fantastic job with taking on Shelby Foote's unequaled three volume work on the civil war. I had been intimidated by the shear volume of Foote's narrative and took a chance with this one- I was not disappointed. This truly is a narrative and is perfectly suited to the audio-book medium.While not for the casual reader, if you want to know who was who, who they really were, and what really happened, I don't think there is another book out there to match this one.I highly recommend it to anyone interested in US history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Lester 03-25-13
    John Lester 03-25-13

    jlester343

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    3
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    "Great Book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian the most enjoyable?

    The narrator seemed to have a Southern accent which added to it since the author is from Memphis, Tennessee as I recall.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Just A Book Person 02-04-13 Member Since 2014
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    48
    5
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    "Catching-Up on History"

    My brother-in-law has read this 3-book-set at least 5 times as a book. Now I understand why. The writing is great and keeps me interested as I try to keep the time-line of the battles straight in my brain! The narrator has a clear voice and is enjoyable to listen to (even if he pronounces the cities in Missouri unusually) :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MILLHOUSE 12-05-12
    MILLHOUSE 12-05-12

    SMITDOD

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "WhisperSync: Greatest. Tool. Ever."
    Would you listen to The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian again? Why?

    No. Too long.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jackson: brilliant loon.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Determined diction. Dialogue judiciously performed.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    None needed.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you for connecting to Kindle whispersync. It's brilliant. Some syncing issues, but nevermind. Great idea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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