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Download The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville Audiobook, by Shelby Foote Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,885 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Shelby Foote Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2016 ISBN: 9781504710688
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The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 1 begins one of the most remarkable works of history ever fashioned. All the great battles are here, of course, from Bull Run through Shiloh, the Seven Days Battles, and Antietam, but so are the smaller ones: Ball’s Bluff, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, Island Ten, New Orleans, and Monitor versus Merrimac.

The word “narrative” is the key to this extraordinary book’s incandescence and its truth. The story is told entirely from the point of view of the people involved in it. One learns not only what was happening on all fronts but also how the author discovered it during his years of exhaustive research.

This first volume in Shelby Foote’s comprehensive history is a must-listen for anyone interested in one of the bloodiest wars in America’s history.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In objectivity, in range, in mastery of detail, in beauty of language and feeling for the people involved, this work surpasses anything else on the subject…It stands alongside the work of the best of them.”

    New Republic

  • “Here, for a certainty, is one of the great historical narratives of our century, a unique and brilliant achievement, one that must be firmly placed in the ranks of the masters…a stirring and stupendous synthesis of history.”

    Chicago Daily News

  • “This is historical writing at its best…It can hardly be surpassed.”

    Library Journal

  • “A stunning book full of color, life, character, and a new atmosphere of the Civil War, and at the same time a narrative of unflagging power. Eloquent proof that an historian should be a writer above all else.”

    Burke Davis, author of They Called Him Stonewall

  • “I cannot begin to tell you how pleased I am with the whole production—the format, of course, and the quality of sound; but above all with Grover Gardner’s performance. No writer could ask for a better out-loud reader.”

    Shelby Foote

  • Winner of a 2016 Voice Arts Award
  • A National Review: 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Century Selection

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian Thornton | 2/15/2014

    " Foote's sweeping narrative, comprehensive, soaring, occasionally bogging down in minutiae (part of its overall charm for me- I find stuff like the murder of Big Bill Nelson and his murderer going free and continuing to serve as a general officer in the Union Army for years after his crime fascinating), this is the benchmark by which "epic" nonfiction ought to be measured. Currently at work on volume II! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cannonhistory Potter | 2/12/2014

    " Dense, though if you've seen Ken Burns' Civil War, you know why you should read this...it's the first of a three volume set. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Smith | 2/12/2014

    " Ten Years was well worth the wait. I started this book back in Feb 2003 while getting ready to depart to OIF I and finally just finished it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stella | 1/21/2014

    " Tremendously readable. He is more interested in telling a good story than just giving a plain factual account. The size if the three-part series is daunting but the narrative flows well. He is more sympathetic to the South, which is understandable as he is a native Southerner, Mississippi, I believe. You have to wonder how Lincoln or Davis held up for four years, the strain they were under was unbearable. So many deaths, it must have seemed like the flower of America's youth both North and South were being washed away. I read this after MacPherson's more factual, Northern-oriented book, Battlecry of Freedom. I am enjoying the contrast. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean Hackbarth | 1/19/2014

    " It's impressive for its breadth, readability, and historical detail. Foote draws you deep into battles and the people that fought on both sides. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jimmy | 1/17/2014

    " A hell of a bedtime story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 MS | 1/17/2014

    " I have never enjoyed reading anything more in my life. This is a Homeric telling of America's 2nd revolution. The author is biased towards the south, and he fails to adequately incorporate the political developments of the time into his account. He also worships the wrong hero: Jefferson Davis rather than Abe Lincoln. But the Civil War is the story of the south more than the north, and its being told by a southern partisan is thus fitting. No one has ever researched a topic more thoroughly. No one has ever brought ghosts to life like this. After reading this book, places like Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga are transformed into holy ground. It is so gargantuan, I fear I will never have to chance to read it again "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg Sumers | 1/14/2014

    " Been reading this book in parts for last year, as the "baseline" to my series of Civil War books. Reading this series will be the progress I'll keep coming back to after branching out to other books, topics and sub-topics. Foote's writing as a narrative is exactly what I prefer to history. And though you can tell his writing is based in research, it isn't overly academic and thrown in your face with notes and conclusions, etc. His note on bibliography at end of book is sufficient for what I'm looking for (tips to other books). Foote unmasks his opinions very obviously about certain commanders, especially their absurdities and failings. Equally, his praise for other leaders and figures is obvious, and I like this about it as well. The battles are covered in correct summary level, and the politics and culture tying together the events nicely. After first volume, I'm anticipating completing this series will be something I'll remember all my life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Geo Forman | 1/13/2014

    " at times plodding and at other times a page-turner. primarily a military history. the other two volumes will need to wait "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hotspur | 12/24/2013

    " Outstanding, readable and entirely accessible narrative of the events of the Civil War's earliest years. I have always meant to read this and am glad I finally had a chance recently. One can easily see the influence this book had on Ken Burn's classic CIVIL WAR PBS series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 12/7/2013

    " This is one of those historical works that I need to read again, along with Volume Two and Three. Foote is very readable and has a subtle sense of humor that adds accents to the breadth of the events he covers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J. | 12/5/2013

    " OMG longest book I have ever read. It was good too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ted | 10/23/2013

    " Very detailed, but hard to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon Wilson | 6/17/2013

    " I love Shelby Foote! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trey | 9/23/2012

    " What a detailed account of the first stages of the war. Every little skirmish and major battle is brought to life. Looking forward to reading the 2nd and 3rd volumes. LATER! I read McPherson's book so I'm a bit burned out on Civil War stuff right now. I get to them eventually. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 4/25/2012

    " Exhaustive history of the first third of the U.S Civil War...if you like that kind of thing, then it's great. If not, it'll be agonizingly painful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 3/31/2012

    " I am learning that nearly everything I learned about the civil war is either wrong or distorted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Steck | 1/16/2012

    " Best civil war book I've read. Wonderful details and so well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joshua Horn | 7/18/2011

    " Great summary of the Civil War, an easy to read narrative. The maps were a bit scarcer than I would like, the chapters were long making it hard to use for research, and there were no footnotes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wes | 5/20/2011

    " I read the first book in this set and loved it. I ran out of time before I could get to the last two. Each book is 1,000 pages but I want to finish them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 4/11/2011

    " The best non-fiction series about the Civil War currently available. Foote brings his skills as a writer of fiction to a awe-inspiring work of fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 3/25/2011

    " Tremendous project, sweeping scope, wonderful prose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 1/4/2011

    " This is an outstanding civil war history. Well written, excellent detail and insights into the politics and tactics of the war. THE DEFINITIVE history in my book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neva | 11/8/2010

    " Wonderful if you care about the Civil War. Although the battle strategy left me cold, the personal side was well worth the almost 2 months it took me to read these books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregory | 9/17/2010

    " The best Civil War series available. "

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About the Author
Author Shelby Foote

Shelby Foote (1916–2005) was an American historian and novelist who came from a long line of Mississippians. After attending the University of North Carolina, he served in World War II as a captain of field artillery in the European theater. He wrote six novels and was awarded three Guggenheim Fellowships in the twenty-year course of writing his monumental three-volume history, The Civil War: A Narrative.

About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned thirty-seven Earphones Awards.