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The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville (1958)

von Shelby Foote

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

Reihen: The Civil War: A Narrative (Original publication, Vol. 1)

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2,092226,601 (4.49)63
Here 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, Second Manassas to Antietam and Perryville in the fall of 1862, but so are the smaller and often equally important engagements on both land and sea: Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, Island Ten, New Orleans, Monitor versus Merrimac, and Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign--to mention only a few.… (mehr)
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    The Civil War Dictionary von Mark Boatner (wildbill)
    wildbill: excellent reference work
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More people know author and historian Shelby Foote from his appearance in the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War than from Foote's own writing. Foote's book The Civil War A Narrative takes up three volumes. This review only addresses the first volume, Fort Sumter to Perryville, it alone is 840 pages long including indexes. This work was published in 1958. Shelby Foote was as good a writer of narrative as he was a speaker and storyteller. When he writes about the personalities, backgrounds and conflicts of these historical figures he demonstrates a great command of knowledge and writing skill. Though he came from the South Foote wrote an even handed narrative, presenting both sides of the conflict. I knew a lot more about Jefferson Davis and many of the Generals on both sides when I finished reading this volume. Foote even gave me some new insights on Abraham Lincoln. If there is a weakness in these works it comes when this author describes the actually battles, movements of armies and geography of the events. I found the maps provided with the text to be less helpful than many I've seen. That however was easily overcome by keeping my copy of Mark Boatner's Civil War Dictionary at my side while I read Foote. Boatner's maps and descriptions of maneuvers and battles are better but as a narrator Shelby Foote is a master. I am looking forward to taking on the next two volumes. It may take awhile. ( )
  MMc009 | Jan 30, 2022 |
Shelby Foote is a very gifted writer whose every sentence is a work of art. In this narrative history of the first couple of years of the Civil War, he is also irreproachably fair. He neither demonizes nor beatifies anyone, but he does lean toward treating everyone with respect (with the passing exception of some who committed atrocities against noncombatants).

From the first time I heard of him in my preteen years, General McClellan's raison d'etre seemed to be to fill the role of the hapless Washington Generals for the Harlem Globetrotters (in the form of President Lincoln) to dunk on. Canonical example: "If McClellan isn't using the army, I should like to borrow it." As described by Foote, McClellan was much more than a target for Lincoln's witticisms. He was an intelligent fighter, a leader who loved, and was loved by, his troops.

Foote uses without explanation some terminology with which I was not familiar: of the military, of the construction of ships, of American geography, etc. This may have been an issue for his readers 60 years ago, but not for us now, thanks to the Internet. The Internet also provides us with plenty of illustrations, making up for the lack thereof in the book.

A book on a bloody war of brother against brother might seem like a bad choice for reading in the depressing age of pandemic. But Foote writes with such grace that, oddly enough, the reader is rewarded with a renewed appreciation for humanity. ( )
  cpg | Dec 20, 2020 |
If you are a Civil War history buff, this is a MUST read. Yes, it is long, but it is absolutely worth your time. I can't wait to dive into Volume 2. I HIGHLY recommend the audio book as Grover Gardner is one of the best narrators in the game. ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
I've waited 20 years to read this and ... and ... it was pretty boring! Actually I listened to the audio version and the most common droning reader didn't help either. But this is all about the politicians, the generals, the geography, and the development of an ironclad navy. It is certainly a good layout of history -- but I found myself wanting the smaller story and details of the men in the trenches. The Foote series is an epic ... but now that I have a feel for it, the other parts will have to wait. (the audio version, 14 cds, is only 1/2 of book 1). ( )
  deldevries | Jan 31, 2016 |
Superlatives cannot describe this work. I've never enjoyed such a historical work more than this one. It is arguably the best work of its kind. You are transported to the events and become an involved observer of the horrific war that changed America forever. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Shelby FooteHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Gardner, GroverErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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It was a Monday in Washington, January 21: Jefferson Davis rose from his seat in the Senate.
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The point I would make is that the novelist and the historian are seeking the same thing: the truth--not a different truth: the same truth--only they reach, or try to reach it, by different routes. Whether the event took place in a world now gone to dust, preserved by documents and evaluated by scholarship, or in the imagination, preserved by memory and distilled by the creative process, they both want to tell us how it was: to re-create it, by their separate methods, and make it live again in the world around them.
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THE CIVIL WAR : A NARRATIVE has been published in 3 volumes, but has also been subdivided differently to be published in 9 volumes and even 14 volumes. Consequently, there are different works numbered "volume 1". This volume 1, FORT SUMTER TO PERRYVILLE, is for the series as subdivided into 3 volumes.
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Here 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, Second Manassas to Antietam and Perryville in the fall of 1862, but so are the smaller and often equally important engagements on both land and sea: Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, Island Ten, New Orleans, Monitor versus Merrimac, and Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign--to mention only a few.

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