The Civil War: A Narrative
Volume 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
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Focused on the pivotal year of 1863, the second volume of 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.
“Foote has an acute sense of the relative importance of events and a novelist’s skill in directing the reader’s attention to the men and the episodes that will influence the course of the whole war, without omitting items which are of momentary interest. His organization of facts could hardly be better.” —The Atlantic
“Though the events of this middle year of the Civil War have been recounted hundreds of times, they have rarely been re-created with such vigor and such picturesque detail.” —The New York Times Book Review
“The lucidity of the battle narratives, the vigor of the prose, the strong feeling for the men from generals to privates who did the fighting, are all controlled by constant sense of how it happened and what it was all about. Foote has the novelist’s feeling for character and situation, without losing the historian’s scrupulous regard for recorded fact. The Civil War is likely to stand unequaled.” —Walter Mills
Comprehensive is an understatement
While perhaps not as complete in its treatment of the political aspects of the conflict--though it doesn't ignore it in the least--this series leaves no military aspect of the Civil War out. Foote spent more than 20 years writing and researching his three volumes, and it shows. The result is far from a dry recounting of battlefield events, though. Weaving together the strategic and tactical elements of commanders on both sides and the line-of-battle concerns of the troops in their charge, there just isn't any book that gives a better illustration of the Civil War. A must for the library of any history buff.
If one has to read about the most trying time, in our nations history; than let Mr. Foote's enthralling narrative, guide you. From every military clash to the stories that captivate the lore, his writing ensnares us into every bit of the struggle. Using words any common joe can understand, the war that made these colonies ever stronger is made uncomplicated and a joy to read.
All three volumes are a must in any Civil War collection and in any personal library, as well.