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Publisher's Summary

The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 2 continues one of the most remarkable works of history ever fashioned. Focusing on the pivotal year of 1863, the second volume in Shelby Foote's masterful narrative history brings to life some of the most dramatic and important moments in the Civil War, including the Battle of Gettysburg and Grant's Vicksburg Campaign.

The word narrative is the key to this book's extraordinary incandescence and truth: The story is told entirely from the point of view of the people involved. One learns not only what was happening on all fronts but also how the author discovered it during his years of exhaustive research.

This is a must-listen for anyone interested in one of the bloodiest wars in America's history.

©2016 Shelby Foote (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Story

Excellent in breadth and depth.

Riveting. I absolutely enjoyed the substance and narration. I recommend this book. first class.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Long Listen But So Good

There are times when my mind wonders off while listening, so I recommend pacing yourself when listening.

This is such a great story and very beautifully written. I highly recommend it for American History fans.

The story is also a bit of military history. It's fascinating to hear not only the story of the Civil War but also the start of American military might. Tactics and inventions used by both sides eventually find their way into the reunified military. When you hear them mentioned in passing in this story, it's cool to know where it will lead (e.g. Beauregard playing around but failing with submarines).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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My Favorite Volume of the Series

If you could sum up The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 2 in three words, what would they be?

Thorough, Eye-opening, Knowlegeable

What did you like best about this story?

It tells the whole story, with all of the major players, as well as many of the regular men that fought.

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

Just like the first volume, he makes the book interesting. He also has a classic voice that seems like it could have been from the Civil War error.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me very appreciative of the author's work and knowledge.

Any additional comments?

Definitely read the first volume before this, but don't stop afterwards. I would also suggest reading them through in succession. Once you finish, start the next volume right away. Doing this helped the narrative flow.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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AMERICA'S CIVIL WAR

Shelby Foote’s history of America’s Civil War is a classic for all who wish to understand the culture and strength of American democracy. America, like most nations, is a diverse country. Societal differences make the United States both strong and weak. Strength comes from limited freedom within a government of checks and balances. Weakness comes from the nature of human beings who violate moral and ethical standards defined by society.

The norms of society are shaped by human experience. Religion, money, power, and prestige drive Americans to achieve fame and success; as well as infamy and failure. Foote recounts the interplay between civilian and military leaders in America’s civil war who show how these drives shape American society. The evil of slavery tangles itself into the Civil War’s human experience. Slavery is reviled by some; while fully endorsed by others.

Generals, political leaders, and soldier/citizens on both sides of the Civil War demonstrate various levels of good and bad behavior. Some vie for the money, power, and prestige of command. Some fight for the glory of God whom they feel is on their side. Some fight because they are paid to fight. Some fight because they can exercise power over another. Some fight for the spoils of war. Some fight to win the accolade of those who follow their lead. Others vie for nothing more than the desire to win against an opposing force.

There are heroes and villains in this Civil War. Foote tells the story of America's Civil War from his voluminous research and personal perspective. He offers facts that show both sides of the conflict have honorable and flawed leaders. Foote, like all human beings, does not escape his own prejudices. There seem hints of Southern sympathy and ethnic prejudice. Even the best historians are human; neither omnipresent or omniscient.

The listener/reader judges for themselves based on their own beliefs. Lincoln, Davis, Stanton, Halleck, McClellan, Mead, Rosencrans, Lee, Grant, Sherman, Longstreet, and Stonewall Jackson are heroes with flaws. Each chose their path which leaves them to historian’s and reader/listener’s judgement. All are arguably motivated by experience of their religion, and their desire for a degree of money, power, and prestige.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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America's Fiery Trial

While I've read better academic histories, Shelby Foot's narrative​ skill is unsurpassed. The narrator is solid. Unlike other narrators of Civil War histories, he correctly pronounced most southern place names.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A good storyteller gives eye opening view of war.

I loved Shelby Foote from the moment I saw him on Ken Burns Civil War. Now my appreciation for him grows. I had read Bruce Catton's books on the Civil War and really loved them. Shelby Foote writes a beautiful narrative that expands our of it. I loved the account of U. S. Grant's two day excursion up the Mississippi on a bender. It was hilarious and I am so happy he had officers and friends like the journalist who did his best to corral him and then keep their mouths shut for so many years. What loyalty! A quality hard to find today.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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<br />Excellent read

Tells in a very interesting way all the details of the middle of the Civil War.

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Even better than the first one!

Wow. It seems either I got better at following the battles or Foote's explanations are more concise and beautiful. Either way, a most excellent account of the Civil War. A lot of crazy characters, beautifully horrible descriptions, and political intrigue. Plus, it's all true, which is a plus.

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amazing

I have always liked this text of history but to hear it come to life via a very well done reading made it a favorite of mine. you could picture the scene in front of you and the personalities as if they were in the room with you. I took an opportunity to scroll though an atlas of the war as I listened and found it facinating. can not recomend it enough

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A very good book for any civil war lover

Very in depth, detailed narrative of the middle of the war. My favorite part was when Shelby Foote described a cold river crossing as 'scrotum shrivelingly cold'

0 of 1 people found this review helpful