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The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 2:

Fredericksburg to Meridian

  • Runtime: 45.6 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 8.1.2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio
  • Genre: Nonfiction/History
  • 45.62 hrs8/1/2009Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-4551-6958-0
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A 1964 National Book Award Finalist

National Review’s 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Century

This second volume in Shelby Foote’s masterfully written history of the Civil War is dominated by the almost continual confrontation of great armies. The Army of the Potomac under Burnside attempts once again to take Richmond, resulting in the bloodbath at Fredericksburg. Then Joe Hooker tries again, only to be repulsed at Chancellorsville as Stonewall Jackson turns his flank—a bitter victory for the South, paid for by the death of Lee’s foremost lieutenant. In the west, Grant’s seven relentless efforts against Vicksburg show Lincoln that he has at last found the killer-general, the man who can “face the arithmetic.” With Vicksburg finally under siege, Lee again invades the North. The three-day conflict at Gettysburg receives book-length attention in a masterly treatment of a key great battle, not as legend has it but as it really was, before it became distorted by controversy and overblown by remembered glory.

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

Editorial Reviews

“Though the events of this middle year of the Civil War have been recounted hundreds of times, they have rarely been re-created with such vigor and such picturesque detail.”

New York Times Book Review

“Anyone who wants to relive the Civil War, as thousands of Americans apparently do, will go through this volume with pleasure…Years from now, Foote’s monumental narrative most likely will continue to be read and remembered as a classic of its kind.”

New York Herald Tribune Book Review

“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

“This, then, is narrative history—a kind of history that goes back to an older literary tradition…The writing is superb…one of the historical and literary achievements of our time.” 

Washington Post Book World

“The lucidity of the battle narratives, the vigor of the prose, the strong feeling for the men from generals to privates who did the fighting, are all controlled by constant sense of how it happened and what it was all about. Foote has the novelist’s feeling for character and situation, without losing the historian’s scrupulous regard for recorded fact. The Civil War is likely to stand unequaled.”

Walter Mills, English recipient of the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest and most prestigious award for gallantry

“Gettysburg…is described with such meticulous attention to action, terrain, time, and the characters of the various commanders that I understand, at last, what happened in that battle…Mr. Foote has an acute sense of the relative importance of events and a novelist’s skill in directing the reader’s attention to the men and the episodes that will influence the course of the whole war, without omitting items which are of momentary interest. His organization of facts could hardly be better.” 


“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

“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

Author Biography

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.

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Reader Biography

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 more than thirty Earphones Awards.

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