If you have never heard of Shelby Foote, now would be a good time to get to know him. With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War upon us, there is no time better than to learn about Foote and the three-volume series he wrote on the Civil War.
In the April/May issue of Garden & Gun, Jon Meacham takes a look back at Foote and how it came to be that the young author and close friend of Walker Percy would produce his classic.
At the end of the drafting of the third and final volume, in July 1974, twenty years to the season after Foote first went to New York to talk over the project, Walker Percy finished reading the proofs and sat down to write his friend. “Dear Shelby,” he wrote, “Yes, it’s as good as you think. It has a fine understated epic quality, a slow measured period, and a sustained noncommittal, almost laconic, tone of the narrator. I’ve no doubt it will survive; might even be read in the ruins.” It might indeed.