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Akmatov

Canton or Foote?

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Browsing the forum I'm really getting itnerested.  On thread in particular discussed books that were above excellent  resources.  This got me wondering which of the two fairly full three volume histories would be the best to start with that of Bruce Canton or Shellby Foote?

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If you want to read a great story about the war, that is mostly correct Foote is great.

If you want to read something written by a historian and want to study the civil war, stick to Canton.

The issue is the simple fact that Foote don't use footnotes and don't give us his sources for what he writes. This makes his books useless for any serious study of the war.

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Nah, go with Douglas Southall Freeman. His 3 volume is a intense perfect study of the command structure of the Army of Northern Virginia. 

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17 hours ago, Fred Sanford said:

I'm a 1st Vermont spam guy, personally.  Dude knows it all.

Totally missed the historian you are recommending

 

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If you want to read a great story about the war, that is mostly correct Foote is great.

If you want to read something written by a historian and want to study the civil war, stick to Canton.

The issue is the simple fact that Foote don't use footnotes and don't give us his sources for what he writes. This makes his books useless for any serious study of the war.

 

 

I actually have Foote stashed in a box somewhere in the wilderness that is my garage.  But have been reading the generously large sample of his first book from Amazon on my Kindle and am really liking his prose and information.  But ofc serious historical study requires footnotes and other such apparatus. Irritating. Thx for pointing that out.  Given that Foote also wrote novels I wonder if Foote wasn't a storyteller, which is in large part what a historian is, rather than a picker of nites.  Doesn't mean his facts are not correct, just that he chose to focus on the story itself.

Canton is not available for Kindle, a serious oversight - I'm trying to shift to digital media as much as I can as I have Far too many physical books and am considering move next year.  However, I did purchase a one volume combination of Canton for a reasonable price.

Edited by Akmatov

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Nah, go with Douglas Southall Freeman. His 3 volume is a intense perfect study of the command structure of the Army of Northern Virginia. 

I assume you mean Lee's Lieutenants?

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I just started reading Footes first volume, and from what I've completed it's been very enjoyable. However, I've been spoiled by Dominic Lievens excellent "Napoleon against Russia" (I am fully aware of the difference in topics) and any other work feels lacking.

With great hardship, however, I may be able to persevere.  At least Foote had the good grace to triple the quantity of material :D

Edit: For those left wondering, I await UG Napoleon eagerly (with UG Fredrick a close second)

 

Edited by Zwerty99

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On 7/16/2017 at 9:23 PM, Fred Sanford said:

I'm a 1st Vermont spam guy, personally.  Dude knows it all.

 

22 hours ago, Akmatov said:

Totally missed the historian you are recommending

 

 

Fred Sanford refers to a burr under my saddle blanket named 1st Vermont.

Vermont was a great and scholarly troll -- and I use the words Great and Scholarly very losely -- who once lived under a bridge on the roads leading into this forum. He took great pride in cutting and pasting entire arguments off other websites and stored them on a USB drive more precious to him than the Ring was to Gollum. Vermont then posting them here as if they were a legitimate argument. In particular, he had great affection for @Mr. Mercanto and constantly wanted to cuddle up and debate with him. Creepy, really. Mercanto had to put out a restraining order and the State of Texas sent him a gift pack with several firearms to choose from. 

No joke, @Koro I think, cut and pasted an opening post of one of his threads and I think it was just 20 pages in Microsoft Word of things cut and pasted from old arguments, wikipedia articles, other forum commentary. Simply bizarre. 

The villagers lit torches and gathered pitchforks and protested loudly outside city hall. 

Good times. 

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On 7/17/2017 at 3:29 PM, Akmatov said:

Canton is not available for Kindle, a serious oversight - I'm trying to shift to digital media as much as I can as I have Far too many physical books and am considering move next year.

For Amazon Kindle, please search under Bruce Catton (not Canton).

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18 minutes ago, Caramirdan said:

For Amazon Kindle, please search under Bruce Catton (not Canton).

Brilliant! Completely missed that. However, the $5 hardback unabridged collection of all three volumes cost 1/2 to 1/3 to price of ONE of the three volumes.  I HATE the price gouging of publishers on ebooks. Not knowledgeable, but the production, personal costs,shipment and storage of physical books has to amount to at least 50% - 70% of the charged price and this reduction in cost should be reflected in price charged.  eBooks often handle table, charts and maps poorly, but the fact that some epublishers can do it well suggest a lot don't bother to get it right - one publisher admits maps just don't work for them and make them available off their webpage.  Rant over and thx for the advice. :) 

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How can one be especially out of date writing about a conflict after 100 years vs now?  I would think almost all the facts would have been available after 100 years, though of course historians do tend to have fads of interpretation.

On 7/16/2017 at 5:23 PM, thomas aagaard said:

If you want to read a great story about the war, that is mostly correct Foote is great.

If you want to read something written by a historian and want to study the civil war, stick to Canton.

The issue is the simple fact that Foote don't use footnotes and don't give us his sources for what he writes. This makes his books useless for any serious study of the war.

 

On 7/16/2017 at 5:31 PM, A. P. Hill said:

Nah, go with Douglas Southall Freeman. His 3 volume is a intense perfect study of the command structure of the Army of Northern Virginia. 

 

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On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 3:45 AM, Hannibalbarca said:

Ita a writting style that from a long time, so it often reads oddly and overusses cliche. its also blatently pro North and focuses on the Easter theatre as he thinks it was here the outcome was settled. next to nothing about CS generals or the effect the conflict had on the South or its slaves. Is it worth reading? absolutly, are there other works you could better spend your time with, absolutly.

Foots work without footnotes often upsets the uninformed readers, but thats a problem for the uninformed not the author. 

catton went to print in a time when slavery was considerd like concentration camps, and uneconmic and was stopping the South from being more effiecent, this we know since the 80s is incorrect, and its effect is to dimish the economic arguments of secession and paint an incorrect picture of conditions of slaves.

 

Footnotes and citing of sources are critical to the historian--they allow us to go to the author's source of information.  This in turn enables us to see whether the content in question is valid or not.  Without documentation, a piece of info could have come from a local liquor store owner or from MAD Magazine for all we know. 

 

Regardless, I enjoyed Foote's narrative immensely--Bruce Catton's, too.  Interestingly, Catton was a novelist by trade, like Foote.

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Catton uses stronger research, includes references, and writes in magisterial style. Foote includes no references, falls victim to more myths, and makes significant errors when discussing the causes of the war. Foote's writing is enjoyable, but not as strong. Catton earned the respect of modern scholars, Foote's poor grasp of Reconstruction and the war's causation, as well as his propensity for losing himself in myth, has not fared so well against scholarly review. 

Needless to say, I would strongly recommend Catton. 

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Honestly though, if you want an excellent and readable intro to Civil War, James M. McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era" (Harvard University Press: 1988) is the book toi read. Its the perfect place to begin Civil War studies. 

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On 7/18/2017 at 11:59 AM, Andre Bolkonsky said:

 

 

Fred Sanford refers to a burr under my saddle blanket named 1st Vermont.

Vermont was a great and scholarly troll -- and I use the words Great and Scholarly very losely -- who once lived under a bridge on the roads leading into this forum. He took great pride in cutting and pasting entire arguments off other websites and stored them on a USB drive more precious to him than the Ring was to Gollum. Vermont then posting them here as if they were a legitimate argument. In particular, he had great affection for @Mr. Mercanto and constantly wanted to cuddle up and debate with him. Creepy, really. Mercanto had to put out a restraining order and the State of Texas sent him a gift pack with several firearms to choose from. 

No joke, @Koro I think, cut and pasted an opening post of one of his threads and I think it was just 20 pages in Microsoft Word of things cut and pasted from old arguments, wikipedia articles, other forum commentary. Simply bizarre. 

The villagers lit torches and gathered pitchforks and protested loudly outside city hall. 

Good times. 

It's true. The bastard got a great Sharps off of me. Still, at least I can sleep with the blinds open now...

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