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Shelby Foote books in order

Shelby Dade Foote Jr., popularly known as Shelby Foote, was an American historian, journalist and author of literary fiction.

Originally from Greenville, Mississippi, Foote studied at the University of North Carolina for two years, and later joined the U.S. Army during the Second World War.

As a lover of words from a young age, Foote's passion for history and literature inspired him to produce several literary works on the Civil War era.

Through his acclaimed works such as The Civil War: A Narrative, Foote earned widespread recognition as a distinguished authority on the subject.

His novel September, September (1978) also received a film adaptation starring Cybill Shepherd.

As a journalist and historian, his insightful analysis continues to captivate readers, leaving an enduring legacy in the realm of American literature and historical scholarship.

Foote died of a heart attack June 27, 2005, in Memphis, Tennessee.

He was 88.

More about Shelby Foote

Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction

Born: 1916 / Died: 2005

United States

Non Series

  • Tournament (1949)
  • Follow Me Down (1950)
  • Love in a Dry Season (1951)
  • Shiloh (1952)
  • September, September (1978)

Omnibus Books

  1. The Civil War: A Narrative - 3 Volume Box Set (1958)


  1. Jordan County (1954)

Detailed book overview

Non Series


'Tournament' is Shelby Foote's first novel, published originally by Dial Press in 1949. Summa's reprint includes an exclusive preface by the author concerning his literary development and the genesis of 'Tournament' and an introduction by Louis D. Rubin, Jr., the dean of American literature criticism. 

'Tournament' is a brilliant novel of the post-Civil War South, replete with Proustian and Faulknerian overtones. Many of the characters that appear in subsequent novels by Shelby Foote come onto the scene for the first time in this work. It is a must acquisition for every fan of Shelby Foote.

Author: Shelby Foote
First Release: 1949
ISBN: 978-0917786563
Publisher: Summa Publications
Follow Me Down

A mesmerizing novel of faith, passion, and murder by the author of The Civil War: A Narrative. Drawing on themes as old as the Bible, Foote's novel compels us to inhabit lives obsessed with sin and starving for redemption. A work reminiscent of both Faulkner and O'Connor, yet utterly original.

Author: Shelby Foote
First Release: 1950
ISBN: 978-0679736172
Publisher: Vintage
Love in a Dry Season

Shelby Foote's magnificently orchestrated novel anticipates much of the subject matter of his monumental Civil War trilogy, rendering the clash between North and South with a violence all the more shocking for its intimacy. 

Love in a Dry Season describes an erotic and economic triangle, in which two wealthy and fantastically unhappy Mississippi families—the Barcrofts and the Carrutherses—are joined by an open-faced fortune hunter from the North, a man whose ruthlessness is matched only by his inability to understand the people he tries to exploit and his fatal incomprehension of the passions he so casually ignites. 

Combining a flawless sense of place with a Faulknerian command of the grotesque, Foote's novel turns a small cotton town into a sexual battleground as fatal as Vicksburg or Shiloh—and one where strategy is no match for instinct and tradition.

Author: Shelby Foote
First Release: 1951
ISBN: 978-0679736189
Publisher: Vintage

This fictional re-creation of the battle of Shiloh in April 1862 is a stunning work of imaginative history, from Shelby Foote, beloved historian of the Civil War. 

Shiloh conveys not only the bloody choreography of Union and Confederate troops through the woods near Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, but the inner movements of the combatants’ hearts and minds. Through the eyes of officers and illiterate foot soldiers, heroes and cowards, Shiloh creates a dramatic mosaic of a critical moment in the making of America, complete to the haze of gunsmoke and the stunned expression in the eyes of dying men.

Author: Shelby Foote
First Release: 1952
ISBN: 978-0679735427
Publisher: Vintage
September, September

In September 1957 the South is mesmerized by events in Little Rock, Arkansas, whose governor has called out the National Guard as part of his attempt to halt the integration of Central High School. 

And in Memphis, two white men and a white woman are planning to capitalize on the confrontation between the races by kidnapping the grandson of a wealthy black entrepreneur and pinning the crime on white supremacists. The problem is that Podjo, Rufus, and Reeny have only an amateur's understanding of what a kidnapping entails -- and a total, terrifying incomprehension of their victims.

In September September a magisterial historian of the Civil War charts its distant repercussions in the streets of the contemporary South. By turns wryly comic, ribald, and chilling, Shelby Foote's novel is at once a convincing thriller and a powerful tragicomedy of race.

Director: Yves Simoneau
Cast: Cybill Shepherd, John Laughlin, J.E. Freeman, Richard Brooks, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Martin Garner, Moses Gunn, Tothany Reynolds, John Sullivan, John Locke, Ernest Perry Jr.
Author: Shelby Foote
First Release: 1978
ISBN: 978-0679735434
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Omnibus Books

The Civil War: A Narrative - 3 Volume Box Set

Foote's comprehensive history of the Civil War includes three compelling volumes: Fort Sumter to Perryville, Fredericksburg to Meridian, and Red River to Appomattox. Collected together in a handsome boxed set, this is the perfect gift for any Civil War buff.

Author: Shelby Foote
First Release: 1958
ISBN: 978-0394749136
Publisher: Vintage


Jordan County

Before Shelby Foote under took his epic history of the Civil War, he wrote this fictional chronicle -- "a landscape in narrative" -- of Jordan County, Mississippi, a place where the traumas of slavery, war, and Reconstruction are as tangible as rock formations. 

The seven stories in Jordan County move backward in time, from 1950 to 1797, and through the lives of characters as diverse as a black horn player doomed by tuberculosis and convulsive jealousy, a tormented and ineffectual fin-de-siecle aristocrat, and a half-wild frontiersman who builds a plantation in Choctaw territory only to watch it burn at the close of the Civil War. 

In prose of almost Biblical gravity; and with a deep knowledge of the ways in which history shapes human lives -- and sometimes warps them beyond repair -- Foote gives us an ambitious, troubling work of fiction that builds on the traditions of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor but that is resolutely unique.

Author: Shelby Foote
First Release: 1954
ISBN: 978-0679736165
Publisher: Vintage