We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume I, Fort Sumter to Perryville Audiobook

The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume I, Fort Sumter to Perryville

Regular Price:$48.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume I 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 Battles, and Antietam, but so are the smaller ones: Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, Island Ten, New Orleans, and Monitor versus Merrimac.

The word narrative is the key to this extraordinary book's incandescence and its truth. The story is told entirely from the point of view of the people involved in it. One learns not only what was happening on all fronts but also how the author discovered it during his years of exhaustive research. This first volume in Shelby Foote's comprehensive history is a must-listen for anyone interested in one of the bloodiest wars in America's history.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (2580 )
5 star
 (1698)
4 star
 (531)
3 star
 (234)
2 star
 (54)
1 star
 (63)
Overall
4.6 (1621 )
5 star
 (1198)
4 star
 (273)
3 star
 (106)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (21)
Story
4.4 (1617 )
5 star
 (1045)
4 star
 (329)
3 star
 (159)
2 star
 (41)
1 star
 (43)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Mark Dallas, TX, USA 12-05-06
    Mark Dallas, TX, USA 12-05-06 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    144
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "One of the greatest works ever"

    If you've never read a civil war book before, I'd recommend reading another book that provides a short overview before delving into this series. It has so much detail that you can lose the forest for the trees if its your first foray into this subject. Its also possible to not understand the import of some of the events because Foote does such a solid job of just telling the story, without providing much commentary or characterization. So, in short, you'll get more out of this if its not your first introduction to the civil war. That said, the thing that surprised me about it was how well written it is and how refreshingly free from moral judgment it is. Some parts of it are also genuinely moving - especially Stonewall's death. The battle of Gettysburg is so well done it could be a book by itself. I hope other historical authors are taking a lesson from Foote - this is exactly how to do it.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Los Angeles, CA, USA 04-10-08
    Cheryl Los Angeles, CA, USA 04-10-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    219
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "If only the narrator was as good as the writer"

    I have given this book 4 stars based on the extraordinary writting and storytelling ability of the author Shelby Foote. It is a massive and riveting account of the War told in detail but never boring.
    It fails to rate a fifth star due the narration of the book. The sound quality is uneven and the reader takes long pauses when there seems to be no natural break in the text, and then goes rambling on at places where there seems to be a natual break in the text.
    The most annoying aspect of the reader was his habit of mispronouncing place names and the names of people. Anyone with an interest in the Civil War or 19th century American history will be familiar with the names that are being mispronounced and I am sure like me will find it disconcerting.
    These are minor problems with what is overall a great piece of writing and a wonderful story.

    23 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J B Tipton Minneapolis, MN USA 05-15-07
    J B Tipton Minneapolis, MN USA 05-15-07 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    216
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    436
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Civil War brought to life."

    This is flat out my favorite book. From the first page to the last it is full of great stories and wonderful characters. All the great battles are brought to life. I was never especially interested in the Civil War period, but this book hooked me. I have heard two audio versions and they are both excellent. Grover Gardner is a very fine reader and the sound is clear. The odd mispronunciation shouldn't bother anyone. Historians will always differ on interpretation and emphasis, but Shelby Foote gives a pretty balanced account. It's hard for me to imagine anyone listening to the first volume without getting the last two. This book is too much fun to miss.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada 09-01-06
    Peter Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada 09-01-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    120
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "A fantastic Story Telling of a Truly Horrific Time"

    The civil war was truly a defining moment in American history ! Shelby Foote was a man who through his pen brought us face to face with the titanic figures of this war. He brings us into the personal lives of so many "yankees" and "rebs" common foot soldiers, officers, Generals, civilans, and the common folk; I found it both terrifing and unbelievable as letters are read, relationships long since gone into history once again alive and breathing life into my ears.

    I laughed heartily and I cried deeply for the people of this historical event called the Civil War. I love Shelby's way of writing and his gentle, warm southern charm; this comes seeps through the book everywhere. The late Mr. Foote was brutally honest to both sides and maintain a fair and very well balanced view of the civil war.

    I cannot do this book justice in writing this review by my words - this book - The Civil War by Shelby Foote is something that you Audible listener MUST experience for yourself !! As you listen time fades away as you stand transfixed on the events unfolding right there before your eyes and ears.

    Every single person must listen to this book as it touchs on every single issue that you will every encounter in your life. Download this book now YOUR experience is waiting !! :)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 07-13-06
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 07-13-06 Member Since 2014

    Curtis

    HELPFUL VOTES
    976
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    466
    155
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    85
    3
    Overall
    "I Can Almost See Shelby Smiling as Story Unfolds"

    Even though it is not Shelby Foote reading his narrative, I can almost see him smiling as the ironies and quirky stories unfold. This book is far different and far better than I expected. It truly is a narrative and not a dull history treatise. It is written impartially from neither a Southern nor Northern perspective. The noble intentions and motivations of participants from both sides come through vividly.
    Anyone who has seen the Ken Burns Civil War series will see the similarity to the amusing anecdotes related by the smiling Shelby Foote in that series. If you enjoyed his contributions to that show and have any level of interest in the American Civil War, you will enjoy this great book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Houston, TX 06-20-05
    Wayne Houston, TX 06-20-05 Member Since 2015

    Scout Leader, GIS Analyst, Professional Surveyor, Technical thrillers.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A greatly entertaining read"

    I enjoyed this book immensely. and could not wait for my commute drives to continue the story. It has stirred my interest in history further.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry 12-23-04
    Terry 12-23-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Outstanding!"

    Mr. Foote Brings the Civil War to life. This is without question the best History of any sort I have "read" in a very long time. The only possible criticism is that without the maps and illustrations a printed copy would provide, the text can be hard to follow at times. A fact of life with audio books.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Chamberlain 10-28-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Outstanding story, couldn't stop listening"

    This book is a very detailed account of the civil war from the eyes and ears of those who were there. In historical books I rarely feel so in touch with the characters. The author portrays the people of the civil war not as gods or morons, but as humans beings. I relate to these people more than I have been able to relate to any historical figures. I not only can't stop listening to what amounts to a fantastic story, but I am also very much more interested in the civil war. I want to visit local civil war museums and parks. I enjoyed this one so much I went ahead and bought volumes 2 and 3 just before finishing the first one.

    In short, bravo.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Marstall Chantilly, VA USA 12-11-04
    Patrick Marstall Chantilly, VA USA 12-11-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    140
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "The Best of Narrative History"

    Shelby Foote's writing adds drama and humor to what most other historians would turn into dry relations of fact. His ability to identify and describe the motivations of both sides make this one of the finest sources for Civil War histories a layman can hope for. My only disappointment was that Foote himself did not narrate portions of it... but given the pace of his wonderfull drawl, I guess that would have lengthened the audiobook to 60 hours instead of 40.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karla Baton Rouge, LA, USA 10-12-04
    Karla Baton Rouge, LA, USA 10-12-04 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Shelby Foote's Civil War"

    A must for all students of Civil War history. The audio version simply draws you in... I can't wait for vol. 2.

    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Steeldriver
    Brixham, United Kingdom
    3/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    For those with an interest in history and the period, I found this together with the two companion volumes terrific.


    What other book might you compare The Civil War to, and why?

    I think it is best to take this book with it's companion volumes together as a whole work. And in my opinion as a narrative history it stands apart.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Excellent throughout, captures both the all areas of the book very well.


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

    Both, Shelby Foote's written work is brought to life by Grover Gardner's rendition.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scott Miller
    Scotland
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "The Civil War"

    A great, comprehensive history. Foote is excellent at detailing the battles and characters that shaped the US Civil War, and the research behind this is mind boggling. At well over 100 hrs this is not a casual read, but its at all times interesting and often compelling - well worth it. If you want a single volume on this conflict, check out Battle Cry of Freedom, but if you want to really get the detail, particularly for the key battles, then I would highly recommend this. Narration was good too, in my opinion.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher
    Grantham, United Kingdom
    8/28/12
    Overall
    "The Civil War Volume 1 by Shelby Foote"

    My interest in this was kindled by watching the marvelous Ken Burns TV programmes of Footes' Civil War trilogy. Having read the books, which is daunting enough, I can confirm that listening to them is not for the fainhearted - you need to have a good grasp of the names and the topography to follow the parallel tactical, strategic and social narratives and know your Fed from your Reb. But if you are a serious student of military history these books are a true delight. I use the examples provided of both excellent and truly appaling generalship and leadership today as a lecturer in modern military history. I can not help but be struck by the similarities between Generals George B McClellan and Mark Clark !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Heckington, United Kingdom
    5/8/09
    Overall
    "A triumph!"

    The preview audio sample of this book is a very poor choice and made me think long and hard about buying this book. The sample appears to have been picked at random rather than with a view of giving an example of the content. That aside this book is a tour de force and one of the most interesting books I have read or listened to. I felt as if I knew and understood the individual characters involved and I learnt a great deal about the war itself. I have already purchased the second volume on the strength of this work. If I had a criticism it would be that I would have liked more informaton on the lead up to the war itself (the book starts with the resignation of Jefferson Davies). Having said that this volume alone stands at around 37 hours so perhaps it is already long enough! That small point does not detract from, in my humble opinion, 5 stars. A triumph!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Viv
    12/6/08
    Overall
    "Buy the Bok"

    A comprehensive account of the early stages of the war from the perspective of key players. Well read and written. However the detail is much more relevant to the written word that audio. If you listen in a concentrated and focused way this is for you - otherwise buy the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Boston, United Kingdom
    7/24/11
    Overall
    "Oh dear ...."

    The American Civil War is one of my favourite chapters in world history. I devour books, documentaries and films on the subject. Accordingly, was really excited when I saw this series was available to download.

    Unfortunately, totally let down by the narrator who reads the book so flatly that he makes the whole thing sound very boring indeed. It's even worse during the battle scenes .... the book sets the scene by explaining the terrain and the positioning of the rival forces. However, the way the narrator reads it, you really have no idea who is where, or why?

    A book for reading, not listening to

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.