Tuesday, July 05, 2005

quick take 

Shelby Foote was, by what I understand, a great narrative story teller of the Civil War. I remember watching an extended edition of "Booknotes" on C-SPAN or something with Brian Lamb sitting in Foote's office/library talking about his career and his books. Towards the end of the interview, Mr. Lamb noted a two volume set of the Bible on Mr. Foote's shelf. I was very surprised and really dissapointed when Mr. Foote declared that he did not believe in Jesus Christ or Christianity or something of the sort. That made a profound impression on me because I rather enjoyed his story telling and easy goin' Mississippi drawl and deep voice.

At the very end of this interview, I distinctly recall him saying that he considered it a supreme compliment if a person could not tell whether he was more sympathetic to the North or to the South. As a history major and student, that would be the highest compliment I could recieve because it would show me that I had done my homework and truly understood viewpoints I might disagree with.

Dr. Al Mohler has an eloquent post memorializing Mr. Foote and putting his work into proper perspective. I do have one small bone to pick with Dr. Mohler's post. He said
Made popular by the Ken Burns PBS series, The Civil War, Foote was one of those few historians who can communicate both in print and in person. His Mississippi drawl, bearded face, and irreverent manner gave him a persona made for television -- at least for the folks who watch PBS.

I never watched much of Ken Burns' series on the Civil War, but Shelby Foote was practically the only reason I was even remotely interested in the series. Let's give credit where it's due. Ken Burns did a good job with the Civil War and Shelby Foote and the other historians helped sell the package. Dr. Mohler is right though: God can, will and does use unbelievers to sometimes turn out great works of literature or this case history. I'm sorry Mr. Foote is being judged by God for his sin and unbelief, but I will have to track down his books and read them when I have the time. Mr. Foote was a great historian and a great writer. He will be missed.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?