The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote – A Book review

Now why in the world would I review Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: A Narrative in this blog? Read on and find out. At 2,968 pages it will take a bit of dedication to complete but I found it enlightening and entertaining. Now a confession, I listened to the audio book. On my daily commute I am unable to read without getting motion sick so I find audio books help pass the time.

The late Shelby Foote uses many letters and war correspondence of the people involved in the war. This puts the war on a personal level that escapes many histories. Written in a narrative style makes for an enjoyable read. It has a similar feel to Ken Burns PBS series The Civil War of which Shelby Foote was one of the interviewees.

I think any person living in the USA needs to understand the American Civil War as it is a seminal event in the country’s history. Not only was slavery abolished from the United States by this war but it changes how the people viewed themselves. Before most people thought of themselves as citizens of their respective states first and then citizens of the United States second. Armies then were raised by the individual states. In fact before Gettysburg fallen soldiers were buried grouped by state. The Civil War also started the US on a road toward a more powerful federal government.

Now why review this book here? As I went through the book one thing that really struck me is how both sides felt that God was on their side. They both prayed to the same God and saw His providential hand in every victory. And they sought His guidance after every defeat.  It seems we all want God to chose sides whether it is a war or a sporting event we turn God into a cheerleader for our side.

If you have an interest in the American Civil War then this is book for you. It will definitely fill up your summer.

Have a blessed day,



About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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