Book Review of
Stars in Their Courses
Shelby Foote’s monumental three-part chronicle, The Civil War: A Narrative, was hailed by Walker Percy as “an unparalleled achievement, an American Iliad, a unique work uniting the scholarship of the historian and the high readability of the first-class novelist.”
Here is the central chapter of the central volume, and therefore the capstone of the arch, in a single volume. Complete with detailed maps, Stars in Their Courses brilliantly recreates the three-day conflict: It is a masterly treatment of a key great battle and the events that preceded it—not as legend has it but as it really was, before it became distorted by controversy and overblown by remembered glory.
I read Stars in Their Course as a friend gave it too me, and I was about to visit Gettysburg. It really gives a great overview of the battle. I would say there are way more in depth books, but this book gives a short but pretty thorough overview of the battle so that you know what was happening and who was involved and why things happened. So if you just want to get a glimpse into Gettysburg this is a great place to start.