Customer Reviews for

The Civil War: A Narrative (3 Volume Set)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2004

    The Best Civil War Book Ever!!!

    This is the first installment in Shelby Foote's masterful (3) volume narrative history of the Civil War. I loved it. Foote begins his history with a rich biographical overview of Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln, all within the context of his narration. What I love most about the book is its narrative style. This book was not written as an analysis of the Civil War. Foote simply tells his reader the 'story' of the Civil War, sequentially from the first shots to each successive battle. You get the feel that Foote lived in this era, there is such an immediacy to his style. The book primarily concentrates on the military aspects of the Civil war and upon the command level at that. He fleshes out the characters of Lee, Grant, Van Dorn, Roscrans, Bragg, Johnston, and the list goes on. This first book fights the battles of Shiloh, Fort Donelson, the Peninsula Campaign, Sharpsburg, and many other engagements up to Perryville. And he does not leave out the naval engagements either. The book closes with the strategic outlook for both sides in the winter of 1862. The (3) prong strategic approach of the North is going to be directed at Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and Richmond. The South is adjusting for these strategic centers of gravity. I can't wait to read the next book. Lastly, let me dispel the criticism that Foote is biased in favor of the South. Foote ends his first book with a moving passage of prose from Lincoln promoting the necessity of ending slavery. If you are remotely interested in the Civil War, read this book!!! Jeff

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    An American Classic

    I bought the soft cover version a few years ago. Given the outstanding research, the vast sweep of the narrative and the topic I chose to "upgrade" to hardcover.

    This tale of the most devastating war in American history is a must for any serious student of the American Civil War (ACW). Not only are the battles and campaigns of the East detailed but so are the smaller (but still important) actions of the Far West. Battles such as La Glorieta Pass in what is now New Mexico.

    When I read this series I felt I was reading more of an adventure than history. It is a "page turner". Even with that the detail and very human elements shine in this narrative of the ACW.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The History of the Civil War from A-Z

    This is the work that Ken Burns based his book and PBS series on. Though incredibly long, it's very read-able. The work is excellent in that Foote keeps track of not only the battles, but the political struggles and how one element of the war affected the other. Foote has a wonderful knack for keeping things entertaining.

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    Posted June 19, 2009

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    Posted September 7, 2009

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