GOODBYE TO SHELBY FOOTE

At the World Affairs Council’s luncheon on Monday, David McCullough decried history textbooks that substitute compilations of facts for a strong narrative. He quoted Barbara Tuchman’s two-word advice for historians: “Tell stories.”

Nobody told stories better than Shelby Foote. Civil War historians quibble over the details of some of his accounts, but in my view, he’s established a place, not only with Francis Parkman and a few others who wrote American history, but maybe even with Edward Gibbon.

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