I took five years on the first volume,
five years on the second volume,
and ten years on the third volume.

[Shelby Foote]

I’m within spittin’ distance of the end of Volume I, Civil War by Shelby Foote. Whew! I’ve studied many Civil War sources over the years (among the many other history subjects I enjoy reading), BUT this series offers more information about obscure skirmishes and other interesting situations than I ever encountered before. It is also readable. For a professional historian, readable may not matter. For someone like me, hearing Shelby Foote’s genteel voice in his writing propels me through his 500,000-word volumes.