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The Beleaguered City: The Vicksburg Campaign, December 1862-July 1863 (Modern Library) Hardcover – August 8, 1995


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The Beleaguered City: The Vicksburg Campaign, December 1862-July 1863 (Modern Library) + Stars in Their Courses: The Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863 + Shiloh: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; 1995 Modern Library ed edition (August 8, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679601708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679601708
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #682,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Novelist Foote's credentials as a Civil War historian are impeccable, and this account of one of the war's pivotal campaigns displays the flair for turning complex events into a story that made The Civil War: A Narrative (Vol. 3, Audio Reviews, LJ 5/15/91) a modern classic. Choosing Foote to narrate his own work might seem like a good notion, considering his success as a charming conversationalist in the popular Ken Burns film The Civil War. Unfortunately, reading from text, even his own, is a craft Foote has not mastered. Despite obvious affection for his subject and the suitability of his gentle Southern drawl for this chronicle of men who, like General McClernand, attempted to forge a path from the bayous to the White House, Foote is too subdued and monotonous to do justice to the vitality of his account. The program is further flawed by distasteful drum cadences that seem more appropriate for a military funeral. The charming photo of a pipe-smoking Foote on the package promises more than it delivers. Not recommended.?Barbara Mann, Adelphi Univ., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

The companion volume to Stars in Their Courses, this marvelous account of Grant's siege of the Mississippi port of Vicksburg continues Foote's narrative of the great battles of the Civil War--culled from his massive three-volume history--recounting a campaign which Lincoln called "one of the most brilliant in the world."

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I purchased this for my husband and he really liked it.
Joann C. Supulski
His success at Vicksburg will lead directly to his summons by Lincoln to lead all Union armies.
D. S. Thurlow
Foote does a great job with the character development as well.
ITS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Eric Krupin on January 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I hope my fellow reviewer's amusing description of this slender volume as "Foote Lite" doesn't mislead a potential reader into thinking that "The Beleaguered City" lacks any of the poetry and the power of the three-volume masterwork from which it is excerpted. It simply presents the great historian's work in a more easily digested portion - a consumer service for which I personally am quite grateful.
While the Vicksburg campaign, being (in my simple opinion, anyway) more of coup de grace than a turning point, lacks the supreme drama of the battle at Gettysburg (magnificently presented in Foote's "The Stars In Their Courses", over which I have raved elsewhere), it is an amazing story in its own right. As always, not only does Foote brilliantly limn the military action with stirring prose of an almost Homeric grandeur, he unearths the small human details that bring the long-ago events to life with shuddering poignancy. (i.e. A Union commander preparing to assault a Confederate fort at daybreak reports that from behind the enemy's walls he heard "the prettiest reveille I ever did hear", or General McClernand maintaining his military reserve even as a distraught Southern woman defiantly sings "The Bonnie Blue Flag" right in his face.) He is fortunate, of course, to be studying a period in which even humble footsoldiers, steeped in the cadences of the King James Bible, commanded a musical quality of rhetoric that puts today's orators to shame. (i.e. A disgruntled newspaper editor begs his political friend to convince Lincoln that General Grant is "a jackass in the original package", and a captured Union officer gallantly inquires of his captors, "Is this the Army of the Confederacy for which I have so long and earnestly sought?
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Manray9 on December 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Beleaguered City" is a Modern Library adaptation of part of Foote's masterpiece, "The Civil War." Excerpted for the lay reader, nothing of Foote's careful research or literary skill is lost. While always taking a backseat in American history to Gettysburg (the subject of another Modern Library edition of Foote "Lite"), Vicksburg was arguably the critical campaign of the Civil War -- it permanently severed the Confederacy, guaranteed Federal domination of the nation's premier waterborne trade route, and made the career of U. S. Grant. Foote's history is a delight -- good scholarship and good writing. I recommend it highly to Civil War buffs and casual readers alike. Just like "Stars in Their Courses" however, it suffers from poor maps.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is the book to turn to for info on the Vicksburg Campaign. Shelby Foote handles it beautifully. Another thing that is very common with Mr. Foote is the fact that he doesn't give you the dry facts, he gives it to you easily, and with a lot of small extra stories to go along with the big picture. I am reading the whole Civil War a narrative and have already finished the chapter on Vicksburg. My opinion of this book is very high and I advise "everyone" to read this and the whole three volume set.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wayne A. Smith VINE VOICE on January 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
No one has written about the Civil War with the lyricism and eloquence of Foote. As anyone who has read his delightful three volume history of the Civil War can attest, his novelist background combined with thorough research to produce a classic of American literature and history.
This book is an excerpt from the history focusing on the Vicksburg campaign. As one of the most significant campaigns (some argue the most significant) of our national four year drama (and tragedy), this breakout survives its separation from the whole very well.
Foote traces the story thoroughly. Vicksburg controlled the Mississippi and was the strong point that thwarted the Union's efforts to cut the Confederacy from Arkansas and Texas. It was a very strong site, with bluffs that commanded the river and thousands of troops. U.S. Grant tried traditional ways to approach the city. His failures led him to perhaps the riskiest, most bold and audacious campaign of the war. Grant here is revealed as the master strategist, commander and decision maker. The story of the first major army to "live off the land" and his swing through Mississippi and the investiture of Vicksburg from the South and East is dramatic and stirring -- and extremely well handled in the more than competent hands of Shelby Foote.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
Unforgettable! Superb. Shelby Foote's captivating tale and his sonorous voice have not been out of my mind, now 3 or 4 years after listening to it...absolutley worth the buying....I am shopping today for a friend!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike C. Buckley on October 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Shelby Foote is the quentisential Civil War historian and he is at his finest in this exposition of General Grant's campaign to take Vicksburg, Mississippi, called the Gibralter of the West. The book will be read by Civil War buffs with great interest. The richness of detail is incredible. But those who have only a passing interest or knowledge of the Civil War will be captivated. Foote weaves the details of the Union campaign to take Vicksburg and regain control of the Mississippi together with intimate portraits of all the major officers on both sides of the conflict. These historical figures leap off the pages large as life with their quirks, faults and heroic characters described and explained. Foote is not judgmental and not an apologist for the South. He tells the complete story with little editorial. Where Foote does give his opinion it is uniformly well founded, sympathetic and balanced.
Best of all Foote is superb dramatist with a skill at picking the right word that amazes. We all know how the Civil War and the Vicksburg campaign ultimately came out. From Foote the story is fresh, the outcome in doubt. The reader is given no definitive clue whether Grant and the Union army will succeed. If you can willingly suspend your recollection of history the story reads like exciting fiction.
Whether you are interested in the Civil War or looking for a wonderful read full of well turned phrases, carefully draw characters and an element of suspense, you'll like Foote's fine effort.
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