This trilogy of the American Civil War is daunting to most people due to it's sheer size; right at three-thousand pages. Despite this "The Civil War: A Narrative" is THE book series to read if you want a detailed knowledge of the Civil War. Shelby Foote first came to my attention through Ken Burns' "The Civil War" on PBS. I loved Foote's unashamed southern drawl and his gift of telling a great story. That's when I decided to read his life's work. Foote has a talent for bringing the characters alive-they seem to jump off the page at you. He has that rare ability to make readers feel as if they are part of the story, looking on or even participating in events. The books are written in a way that makes it easy reading for anyone. Do not let the number of pages intimidate you. A book this well written is hard to put down, making a quicker read than you think. I think all Americans should read this trilogy-in order to understand the horror of that war and its consequences.