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The Beleaguered City: The Vicksburg Campaign, December 1862-July 1863
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The Beleaguered City: The Vicksburg Campaign, December 1862-July 1863

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The companion volume to Stars in Their Courses, this marvelous account of Grant's siege of the Mississippi port of Vicksburg continues Foote's narrative of the great battles of the Civil War--culled from his massive three-volume history--recounting a campaign which Lincoln called "one of the most brilliant in the world."
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 8th 1995 by Modern Library
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Best Non-fiction War Books
209th out of 845 books — 1,099 voters
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"The Beleaguered City" is a Modern Library adaptation of part of Foote's masterpiece, "The Civil War." Excerpted for the popular reader, nothing of Foote's careful research or literary skill is lost. While always taking a backseat in American history to Gettysburg (the subject of another Modern Library edition of Foote "Lite"), Vicksburg was arguably the critical campaign of the Civil War -- it permanently severed the Confederacy, guaranteed Federal domination of the nation's premier waterborne ...more
Sean Chick
A fair apprisal of the campaign. Foote acknowledges Grant's abilities without vapid hero worship (a problem as of late in books about the general) and his views on Pemberton are fair. Best of all, events outside of Vicksburg, such as Port Hudson and Brashear City, are discussed. All in all this is a good account of the campaign.
Shelby Foote’s “The Beleaguered City,” a book-length excerpt from his 3000-page three-volume “The Civil War: A Narrative,” focuses on the Vicksburg campaign of 1862-63, an epic collision of then-modern military technology, trial-and-error tactics, and unforgiving near-Gothic landscape as Grant and Sherman attempted to “break the back” of the south by gaining dominance of the Mississippi river.

It may surprise the modern reader that the small town of Vicksburg was known as the “Gibraltar of the W
Foote, Shelby. THE BELEAGUERED CITY: THE VICKSBURG CAMPAIGN. (originally published in 1963; this ed. 1995). ***. Many of my friends have the three-volume set of Foote’s “The Civil War” sitting on their bookshelves. My set has been there for about fifteen years. The work is the acknowledged history of the conflict, and has been highly acclaimed by both readers and critics alike. My problem is that the big set is too daunting. I’d like to be able to sit down and read it through, but I always come ...more
I enjoyed this detailed account of the Vicksburg campaign. It reads more like a play by play of troop movements with sidebar discussions on the strategy. If you're not into military, this probably is not your thing. This book brings to reality the importance of the Vicksburg campaign because of location and Confederate supply chain. We oftentimes see things in other non-military books that make it seem so easy; things like "Grant moved his army South to supplant Stonewall's position" This story ...more
Right when you think you know it all, you learn you dont. Mr.Foote , as always, uncovers and brings to light all asoects of this campaign in an excellent manner. Good for the pros, great for the buffs. I got this book from one of my history teachers, Bob Sampson, well over 10 years ago, always been treasured , and just reread it.
Sal Prezioso
Mar 24, 2008 Sal Prezioso rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Civil War and History buffs
I listened to this book when I was doing a lot of driving. This is about the siege at Vicksburg. Its the Vicksburg chapters of his famous trilogy on the Civil War. From a history perspective, its a tough battle to get your arms around because it was more of a campaign and siege than a quick 2 or 3 day battle. Foote makes it all come together, but the added benifit is listening to him read it. His quiet southern drawl makes it all the more pleasant to listen to and enjoy. The other good thing is ...more
Thus ends my recent foray into the Civil War. Shelby Foote, himself a Mississippian, provided the narrative in an objective manner but with some sympathy toward Pemberton and the Vickburg defenders who were apparently thrown under the bus by the Richmond government in favor of Lee's pointless invasion of Pennsylvania. With Vicksburg, the Union split the Confederacy in two and regained use of the Mississippi River. Foote was criticized by some for the lack of footnotes (there is only one) or refe ...more
Gary Pearson
Most "Northerners" may not have even heard of the Vicksburg Campaign to caputre the Confederate forterss, divide the Confederacy in two and open up the Mississippi to Northern commerce, but it was arguably more important than even the most famous battle of the Civil War, won just one day earlier at Gettysburg. And Shelby Foote's book is perhaps the best one on the topic. It was a great loss when Foote passed away in 2005. His three volume history is regarded by many as the best contemporary hist ...more
Tim Wendel
This one snuck up on me. Now I knew Shelby Foote from the PBS Civil War series, but I didn't realize he could write narrative so well. This one flew along from Grant to Sherman to the doings back in D.C. to the Southern side with Johnston and Pemberton. Foote excels at not letting the quotes slow the piece down. He finds the key lines, the real nuggets, rolls those out and keeps going. It's a wild ride of Americana
Shelby Foote is a great writer. He takes this thoroughly interesting but equally confusing campaign and makes it flow as well as possible. The western/ Trans Miss theatre is one that is often ignored in favor of the more famous eastern theatre. I would recommend this to anybody interested in American history and will certainly read more Shelby Foote in the future.
I haven't checked it for sure, but I believe this is functionally just an excerpt of the much larger, The Civil War: A Narrative. However, it is focused and still excellent work by Foote.
interesting detail about the civil war campaign, attitudes, politics, etc. A little tedious and too much detail on names/locations I couldn't always follow.
Would have liked a little more social and political history to go with the military history but still some good writing.
OK book, Too much and felt like it dragged a little. I enjoyed Vicksburg 1863 by Winston Groom much better.
A typical well written Foote book
One of the best books, ever.
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Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. was an American novelist and a noted historian of the American Civil War, writing a massive, three-volume history of the war entitled The Civil War: A Narrative. With geographic and cultural roots in the Mississippi Delta, Foote's life and writing paralleled the radical shift from the agrarian planter system of the Old South to the Civil Rights era of the New South. Foote wa ...more
More about Shelby Foote...
The Civil War, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville The Civil War: A Narrative The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian The Civil War, Vol. 3: Red River to Appomattox Shiloh

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