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BattleVonWar
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Year 1 of the Civil War

Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:15 am

(People here agree that Foote is worthy reading?)

Not able to read much, as I am in bed ill with my usual prompted me to open up Shelby Foote's Fort Sumter to Perrysville. Reminds me how despite several victories in the South in Missouri and Virginia the reality of the first year of the War is ugly for them with the loss of Both Vital Border State Forts and Nashville. As far as I am at is Jefferson's Speech in early '62. Lee is some sort of Godsend in not so much his skill but in his coming and saving the South from what would most likely be for certain loss in 1862. With Mac coming up to take Richmond... Even if this was not accomplished that 1 victory(which was in fact a brilliant idea) the 3 major losses to Lee subsequently are shocking and stall the Union Victory.

I can see how in game all the leader ratings are really "void" because in reality the situations they were in often shaped things. Never had this much time to dig through several Civil War Books... Even went through Abner DoubleDay and boy he is VERY enlightening if you take him at his word. Also Keegan who I like who is far broader a stroke on details.(sort of light reading)

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Captain_Orso
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Re: Year 1 of the Civil War

Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:33 pm

Shelby Foote's The Civil War volumes are one of the greatest sources for understanding the American people during the civil war. His narrative is a pleasure to read; I've read it twice already. The descriptions of battles are fairly detailed, often from the point of view of participants, and the maps he includes help greatly in visualizing the situations illustrated; I've often called on them to help understand other writings.

He does have a tendency to romanticize his descriptions of some Southern leaders somewhat, which he often does with the more common soldiers on the Northern side. I don't think it detracts from the historical perspective, but it's there.

He doesn't really talk much about slavery, the culture of slavery, the perspective of the population, and how it affects them, their thoughts on it, other than the more prominent voices in politics, but I guess that's okay. It just means one must go to other sources for those subjects. I think it would be irrational to expect him to cover every single aspect of the conflict into the greatest detail. We have to take Foote's writings for what they are, a great source for understanding the American people, but not the absolute one-source-stop for everything, but still one of the greatest reads out there.

BTW Gute Besserung! - Get well soon! :)

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BattleVonWar
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Re: Year 1 of the Civil War

Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:53 am

Thank you for the enlightening point of view. I am enjoying the read. I find a lot of detail in it. The romantics you mention I see. I recall that from his documentary commentary on Burn's PBS Special. Though I am glad to know I am not wasting my effort!

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tripax
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Re: Year 1 of the Civil War

Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:05 am

Although a bit late, I'd like to recommend listening to the Foote audiobook (with the aforementioned caveat that Foote isn't considered a reliable source on attitudes and motivations). I've listened to it twice (never read the book). It goes slower than reading, but it is lovely to get lost in the story at that pace, and being unable to skip pages, Foote's ability as a romantic storyteller takes over and it does not feel like a 3 volume history book at all.

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BattleVonWar
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Re: Year 1 of the Civil War

Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:34 pm

Tripax, good suggestion and makes the long series more fluid.

tripax wrote:Although a bit late, I'd like to recommend listening to the Foote audiobook (with the aforementioned caveat that Foote isn't considered a reliable source on attitudes and motivations). I've listened to it twice (never read the book). It goes slower than reading, but it is lovely to get lost in the story at that pace, and being unable to skip pages, Foote's ability as a romantic storyteller takes over and it does not feel like a 3 volume history book at all.

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