The American Enterprise

God rest Shelby Foote.(Scan)(Brief Article)(Interview)(Obituary)

Shelby Foote--a masterful writer, thrilling historian, exemplar of much that is impressive about the American South, and a delightful man--died in late June. There will never be another like him. The following is an excerpt from a TAE interview with Foote, conducted by Bill Kauffman in Memphis, published in our January/February 2001 issue (available at

TAE: Politicians today don't even speak their own words.

FOOTE: That's always been to a degree true. Lincoln's speeches were mostly by himself, but the "better angels of our nature" was Seward. Lincoln was a political genius; he's other kinds of geniuses, too. He's a writer very close to the caliber of Mark Twain. …

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