Shelby Foote, we hardly knew ye
Shelby Foote has died. I have yet to wade into his 3,000-page book on the Civil War, or any of his six novels, but his impish appearances and humorous/poignant anecdotes in the Ken Burns documentary brought that era to life for me and convinced me that writing about it was a good idea (see my novel, coming out in 2029). "Any understanding of America has to be grounded in -- and I mean really grounded in -- an understanding of the Civil War. It defined us. It defines us still."