John's Reviews > The Civil War: A Narrative

The Civil War by Shelby Foote
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's review
Sep 30, 2007

really liked it
Read in September, 2007

Finished it this week. I now feel as though life can move on again. This book explains nearly everything that happened, military-wise, during the war. It's a great compendium of all the moves and countermoves of the war. There is a definitely some sense of "reexperiencing" the events of the Civil War. And it gives a real sense of the simultaneity of these events, gave me a better since of the war as a whole.

Still, though, in reality this book is all about Southern Romanticism, which I don't subscribe to. I like learning about the Civil War (what's more important in U.S. history really?), but usually I like my depression to stem from the failures of history, the possibilities never taken, instead of ridiculous nostalgia about a ridiculous and brutal antebellum social world. In this vein, I recommend reading Eric Foner's Reconstruction as a kind of antidote to the souther nostalgia implicit in this book.


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