"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."
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."Shelby Foote on Albert Einstein
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."Shelby Foote on Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power religion gives man wisdom which is control."Shelby Foote on Martin Luther King, Jr.
"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right a single experiment can prove me wrong."Shelby Foote on Albert Einstein
"Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss."Shelby Foote on Ralph Waldo Emerson
"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 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."
"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."