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Vicksburg 1863 Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 7, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 126 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Among the most visited of Civil War battlefields, Vicksburg here receives a narrative equal to its significance and popular interest. Though Vicksburg was obviously the strategic key to control of the Mississippi River, it was anything but clear how to unlock the place or to keep it locked. The military difficulties its geography presented to both attacker and defender underlie a perceptiveness present throughout Groom’s account: he grasps commanders’ options, senses the sturdiness of their military character, and dramatizes their choices in a way that awakens the inner armchair general in Civil War readers. Nor does Groom neglect the chain connecting the decisions of strategists to the tumultuous experiences of those on the receiving end, from Union and Confederate soldiers to plantation owners and their slaves. The present-tense flow in Groom’s prose enhances vividness, just as it captures the fogginess of war that beset the minds of generals and admirals who conducted the Vicksburg campaigns, of which there were more than half a dozen before Grant’s victory. A superior example of general-interest Civil War history, this is skillful work by Groom, also the author of several military histories and the novel Forrest Gump (1986). --Gilbert Taylor

Review

“With Vicksburg, 1863, [Groom] has fully arrived as a narrative historian, who proves again that facts skillfully woven can be more moving than the products of the busiest imagination . . . Groom’s books is full of . . . authentically rendered excitement.”
–Ernest B. Furgurson, The Washington Post

“Groom’s lively account has a frighteningly contemporary sheen . . . His mastery of plot and storytelling leaves him inordinately well-disposed to piece together the tangled mass of major battles and peashooter skirmishes . . . that made up the Vicksburg campaign.”
–Eric Banks, Chicago Tribune

“Groom brings the novelist’s touch to history . . . Groom’s version of the long campaign to capture Vicksburg . . . offers fresh insights on the human costs of the war and what it mean to the nation.”
–Walter Putnam, Associated Press

“With the publication of Vicksburg, 1863 . . . Winston Groom attains the stratospheric narrative heights heretofore enjoyed by such popular-history masters as Bruce Catton, Shelby Foote and James M. McPherson. His pacing is so good, his attention to detail so riveting, and his flair for action writing so pitch-perfect that the reader is utterly absorbed and inexorably swept along . . . There have been many books about Vicksburg, but none better than this.”
--John Sledge, Mobile Press-Register

“A galvanizing and harrowing account . . . Relying on southern sensibilities, historical scrupulousness and a novelist’s feel for a good yarn, Winston Groom plunges into this cauldron with a presentation that gives full vent to the cost in human lives and the enormous stakes for both sides.”
–Jonathan E. Lazarus, The Star-Ledger

“Groom’s command of the military facts, and his extraordinary mixture of vignettes big and small, brings this distant, chaotic, and shockingly violent episode to life.”
–Philip Terzian, The Weekly Standard

“[A] masterful telling of the pivotal Civil War siege and battle.”
–Billy Heller, New York Post

“Vicksburg here receives a narrative equal to its significance and popular interest . . . [Groom] grasps commanders’ options, senses the sturdiness of their military characters, and dramatizes their choices in a way that awakens the inner armchair general in Civil War readers.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Vivid Civil War storytelling in the tradition of Shelby Foote.”
Kirkus

“Groom presents grand events from a human perspective, introducing a spectrum of colorful characters.”
Publishers Weekly

"An exciting, balanced account of what may have been the most decisive campaign of the Civil War. Vicksburg demanded the most sustained efforts of the conflict from both land and naval forces. Though the denouement is now well known, the story unfolds here with a sense of drama and unpredictability, and no inevitable outcome. It is all there--bravery and cowardice, competence and folly, fear and endurance, all with the constant, imponderable undertow of dumb luck, good and bad."
--Stephen Fox, author of Wolf of the Deep: Raphael Semmes and the Notorious Confederate Raider CSS Alabama

“The author of the classic Forrest Gump has delivered another tour de force with his Vicksburg 1863. Beautifully written, Winston Groom places us in the minds and hearts of the citizens and soldiers who lived the battles and endured the hardships of war in the besieged city. This is a must read!”
--Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and founding Chair of The Lincoln Forum

"In Vicksburg, 1863 Winston Groom bids fair to assume the mantle of the late Shelby Foote as a most eloquent and moving storyteller of the Civil War. His prose is unbeatable, with a fine flair for drawing the drama out of isolated and seemingly minor episodes, while his pen portraits of individuals are crisp and incisive. The feel and smell and hardship of soldiers and civilians alike in a siege are all here in Vicksburg, 1863."
–William C. Davis, author of Look Away! A History of the Confederate States of America

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.8 pounds
  • Hardcover : 496 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0307264254
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0307264251
  • Publisher : Knopf (April 7, 2009)
  • Product Dimensions : 6.8 x 1.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126 ratings