Customer Reviews for

Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee through His Private Letters

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    Great insight into a rare personality

    Robert E. Lee didn't write his own memoirs, much to most historian's regret.
    Books like this are the next best thing and this book provides an insight as if written by an eye witness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2009

    Robert E. Lee, even though he was a slave owner he was against slavery

    Robert E. Lee was against slavery and hated the Irish. He was a racist. Even though he was a great general he was a man who needed to prove himself by exeerting his ego.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It's a Must Read for Any Southerner

    So much of what Robert E. Lee did can be seen no matter what part of the South you live in. This work gives great insight into the mind of a fearless leader and informs the reader of certain character traits they probably were not aware of before. Excellent!

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  • Posted June 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Just When You Thought You Knew Everything About Robert E. Lee

    Along comes a book that not only reveals a treasure trove of correspondence Lee wrote to family, friends, and fellow officers, but also reveals more than a glimpse of what made Lee tick.

    For example, Ms. Pryor reinforces the view first made by Alan Nolan in his excellent "Lee Reconsidered" that Lee was not as fierce an opponent to Slavery as the history books and iconolastic treatments have made him out to be. In fact, I was stunned to find out that he would beat his slaves if he got angry over a supposed misdeed (I already knew that he ignored the seizure of Free Blacks in Pennsylvania on his way to Gettysburg). Nor did I know, until reading this book that he actually got to meet Lincoln AFTER he had been elected President when he received his short-lived commission as a full Colonel in the U.S. Army.

    I also learned more about the sordid hanging of a Lee Cousin, Orton Williams aka Laurence Orton, who had been caught along with another Lee relative, Peter Gibson, behind Union lines in Tennessee. No, they weren't hanged abruptly because the Union officers knew they were related to Lee, but because they had been caught spying, and it was feared Bedford Forrest would free them. Lee expresses an outrage in the letters describing his reaction to the hangings that certainly takes much away from his supposedly benign "Those People" viewpoint.

    A solid read, and an essential to every Lee, Grant and Civil War Library.

    Alan Rockman

    co-author "Civil War: Garments, History, Legends and Lore"

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    Posted February 22, 2010

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    Posted January 3, 2010

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    Posted January 9, 2009

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