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Shelby Foote dies

Shelby Foote, the author of The Civil War: A Narrative, has died. He was 88. I loved his raspy, whiskey drended voice, and his moist eyes, and the Southern lilt of his voice. When he talked (or wrote) about the war, you thought that he had lived through it. I believe he had. RIP

This is an NPR interview with Foote about his friendship with Walker Percy. You can listen to it by clicking here.

Discussions - 4 Comments

You are so right! It seemed he had really lived the battles by the way he described them - almost sureal. I will surely miss that beautiful voice he had. I believe that I could have listened to him even if he was reading the phone book! He will be missed!

I remember him from Ken Burns’ Civil War series. Great description of him.

I always thought Timothy Hutton, as the Southern prof in "Everybody’s All American," reminded me of him (of course, only after seeing the Burns series).

A rare, engrossing and scholarly person. Mr. Foote’s passing is a sad day.

I never tired of listening to that voice. I recall seeing him in a documentary about Ted Turner’s TV epic "Gettysburg" circa 1993. Foote described how some of the survivors of Pickett’s division "retreated" after their failed charge. Foote said that some of the Confederates walked "backwards" but still faced the Federals. The rationale being that it was better to be shot in the chest rather than in the back so as not to be perceived as a possible "coward".

As Foote described this, he seemed to tear up and good Lord so was I. A great storyteller and historian.

Rest well good son of the South and the United States.

A great narrative historian along with Stephen Ambrose , they both made history come alive. He will be missed. He was the real reason I watched the Burns series.

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