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Shelby Foote Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Tournament (1949) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Follow Me Down (1950) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Love in a Dry Season (1951) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shiloh (1952) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
September, September (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Jordan County (1954) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville (1958) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian (1963) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 3: Red River to Appomattox (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Born on the 17th of November 1916, in Mississippi, Shelby Foote is one American novelist and historian that has made an unparalleled statement in the art of merging literature and history eloquently. One of is popular bestsellers, most especially in the states, a Civil-War: Narrative- is said to be a remarkable literary as well as historical achievement. The trilogy, which comprises three volumes of Shelby Foote’s epic masterpiece, intelligently and clearly reenacts the four years of tormenting and challenging events that drastically altered the American life till today. The Civil war trilogy has been referred to as an excellent addition to American historical collections.

Shelby Foote studied at the North Carolina University as well as served in the U.S. Army and Marine . Also known as a historian, Shelby establishing himself as a novelist, and spent about 20 years writing the Civil-War: Narrative. Though he became popular on TV and to the viewers as a consultant , his popularity was strengthen after his interview with Ken Burns , as well as his contributions in Burns’ series – The Civil War.

His trilogy the Civil-War: Narrative, will always be an outstanding legacy for Shelby Foote, as he sadly died in 2005 at the age of 88.

He had always preferred the novel genre just liked his reported hero and close friend William Faulkner.following Faulkner’s footsteps: Foote in his trilogy created Jordan County. Known for completing five novels in five years, he is also renowned for merging fictional characters with historical figures.

Shelby is also known for being fair in re-telling historical stories, and follows the events and recorded dialogue of the actual battle and foreshadows the epic history of the war that would take him two decades to complete.

He has written quite a number of amazing novels , which gained popularity in Italy and France, but were substantially overshadowed by epic masterpiece; the Civil-War, Narrative.

Though Shelby has been married thrice, he has spent the last 33-years with his third wife, Gwyn Rainer. They both lived in a Tudor house covered with magnolias on the boulevard of grand-homes.

Dressed in his usual pajamas: which is said to be his writing outfit and with $400 upfront payment, Shelby began writing an outstanding narrative on the War that took place in American in 1958. He was commissioned to write the book after the success of one of his books-“Shiloh”.Thinking it will be a random project, the project became the most impressive work ever written about American civil-war.

The Volume1 of the War, Narrative “Fort Sumter to Perryvile”
Begins with the two main characters Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, and the challenges they face in order to keep their individual nations in one piece. Jefferson Davis, just like Abraham Lincoln, personifies the ever great American dream ,and expresses that it can be achieved through hard work and merit.
With his elder brother’s help, he rises before the war and gets to a high Federal office.
From his simple, background , he could tell the difference between being just part of the Virginian society and the head of the confederacy, which saddens him, especially how Virginian elites are looked down upon.

Volume II :”From Fredericksburg to Meridian” is Foote’s second volume of his epic trilogy and referred to by some critics as the best, because it covers in details all the events of 1863, from Stones River to Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and other relevant subjects.

It began with Jefferson Davis’ trip around the confederacy to bring his constituents together in 1863. The wars of Chattanooga , StonesRiver, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, and Fredericksburg , were clearly elaborated upon. Also in this volume is how we lost Stonewall Jackson, and the rise of Nathan Forrest along with Ulysses Grant. The Fall of Rosecrans was also an highlight of this volume. We also get to see the activities of the Potomac army. It’s not just the history of the military that is conveyed in this book, but different forms of the War,

Being the first Southern voice to write about the war & despite his background, he remained fair to his narration and stuck to the facts.

He was also of the opinion that the North had incompetent leaders, who misused technology, likewise strategies employed by the Union forces during the first years of the war.
Pointing out the failures of the confederacy, with one of them being their lack of vision and leadership in the Western theater of operations, the place the war was lost.Shelby in this book focused more on the shortcomings of the military during the war, with less emphasis on the socio-economic effects of the war. All these he wove into his work.

Showing true competence of a novelist and a historian, Shelby combined an eloquent and scholarly investigation regarding the truth, hence he employed the strategies of both an historian and a novelist . Majestically he creates a prose, which brings back to life events and characters from a world that is no more , with great elegance and finesse .
Though Foote did not sacrifice the truth behind the civil war to suit his artistic desires, his unquestionable skills as a novelist did him great justice. This is definitely one of the greatest historical narratives of our time, as well as a unique and ovation worthy achievement. It is an eye opening book that is vibrantly full of life, character and sets a new aura of the war. It’s an open proof that an historian will make a remarkable writer, as this is history written at its best with great verbs and descriptions that keep the readers fascinated with every page.
Shelby Foote is indeed a master storyteller to have recounted personal accounts of war so diligently that as a reader you could forget you’re reading a non-fiction story. the Civil-War, Narrative , though lengthy with about 1000 pages for each volume, is a must read. The volumes may appear scary to read because of it bulkiness, but if you ever want to know the true meaning of masterpiece, reading the book will school you all the way without leaving any stone unturned.

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