In the third and last volume of this vivid history, Shelby Foote brings to a close the story of four years of turmoil and strife which altered American life forever. Here, told in rich narrative and as seen from both sides, are those climactic struggles, great and small, on and off the field of battle, which finally decided the fate of this nation.
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.
©1974 Shelby Foote; (P)1997 Blackstone Audiobooks
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!
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.
I have now listened to the entire three volume work three times! I do not get tired of it. A great mix of history, anecdote, interesting, hard core, light, invaluable for today....how did Shelby Foote do it?!
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.
Maybe one day when I'm retired, but the entire 3 volumes total something like 140 hours.,
Grant and Sherman. Grant has a quite nobility while Sherman is always entertaining. Together they forged a friendship which was at once moving and essential to saving the Union. I grew to respect almost all the characters and like most of them, including the Confederates who were fighting for a dispicable cause, but I would have to single out Jefferson Davis as a little weasle. I hear that Shelby Foote admired him and was overely generous to him. If so I was not sold. The scene with him trying to allude the Federal soldiers in his wife's shawl like a little bitch was too delicious.
With my busy schedule I could never have found time to read this massive history, but thanks to Audible I was able to have Grover read it to me, and it filled me with 140 hours of pleasure.
Nice even reading, after having seen Shelby Foote in Ken Burns' Civil War documentary, it's nice to see Gardner pick up a lot of Foote's nuances and emphasis
Foot's conclusion of the Civil War is good, but the weakest of the three volumes. He does well to lay out of the facts at the end of the war, but this volume reads more like a textbook than the story that his other two volumes were building on. The end is particularly rushed. If you have listened to the other volumes, then this is a natural continuation, but if you have not, there are many better sources to learn about the end of the war than this book.
Artist in Northern Kentucky. Loves listening to books. My likes are history, mystery and some , and mostly writers of the twentieth century
Anyone that wants to learn about the Civil War can't miss with Mr. Foote's rendition. His research and dedication is obvious.
it is hard to believe someone can write such a long book (2300 pages total) and yet so interesting.
strongly recomended for history lovers
If you like to read about the Civil War, this is a must. Its very long, 3 volumes, however it is well worth your time, if you have it.
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