Shelby Foote, Historian and Novelist, Dies at 88
Mr. Foote wrote three of The Husband’s favorite books. From the NYT obit
What began as a Random House proposal for a short account of the Civil War as its centennial approached turned into an opus. Writing in an ornate script with an old-style dip pen in his rambling magnolia-shaded house in Memphis, where the Footes had moved in 1953, he produced the 2,934-page, three-volume, 1.5 million-word military history, “The Civil War: A Narrative.” At 500 to 600 words a day, with times out to visit battlefields on the anniversaries of the battles, it took him 20 years. The volumes appeared between 1958 and 1974.
Carrying readers from Fort Sumter to Appomattox, the work was greeted by most reviewers in the spirit of the New York Times Book Review contributor who called it “a remarkable achievement, prodigiously researched, vigorous, detailed, absorbing.” Others used words like “monumental,” “comprehensive,” and “even-handed.” In The New York Review of Books, C. Vann Woodward complimented the author on capturing the “intimacy of combat” with his “impressive narrative gifts and dramatic purposes.”
The Civil War: A Narrative (3 Vol. Set), at Amazon.