"And I'm a slow writer: five, six hundred words is a good day. That's the reason it took me 20 years to write those million and a half words of the Civil War."
"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice."Shelby Foote on Albert Einstein
"One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam."Shelby Foote on Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one."Shelby Foote on Albert Einstein
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."Shelby Foote on Dwight D. Eisenhower
"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills we shall never surrender."Shelby Foote on Winston Churchill
"I think making mistakes and discovering them for yourself is of great value, but to have someone else to point out your mistakes is a shortcut of the process."
"I began the way nearly everybody I ever heard of - I began writing poetry. And I find that to be quite usual with writers, their trying their hand at poetry."
"I used to write sonnets and various things, and moved from there into writing prose, which, incidentally, is a lot more interesting than poetry, including the rhythms of prose."
"I'm crazy about Grant: his character, his nature, his science in fighting and everything else. But I don't like the idea that he never accepted the blame for anything, always found someone else to blame for any mistake that was ever made, including blaming Prentiss for Shiloh."
"I think that everything you do helps you to write if you're a writer. Adversity and success both contribute largely to making you what you are. If you don't experience either one of those, you're being deprived of something."