Sunday, March 18, 2012
I started reading The Civil War in early 2011, planning for what I thought would be a spring trimester focused on said conflagration. I had the idea I'd finish Foote's trilogy by the end of the school year last year. But we switched, largely at my impetus, our focus from the Civil War to John Brown, and though interested and engaged by this book, I languished in its completion. One could be forgiven for taking a year to read this book given its scope and length, but it's certainly not the best approach to so complex and wonderful a text. Foote writes with a novelist's sense of character and timing--allowing weeks to lapse between readings causes one to lose the delicate threads of plot and character, and though Foote draws his generals with exquisite and often endearing precision, it is still without daily readings quite possible to forget who is whom after an absence of some days. So read this--it's fabulous, but read it when you have the time and endurance to stick to it daily. I plan that approach as I continue with Volume II.