×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Making of Robert E. Lee
     

The Making of Robert E. Lee

1.0 1
by Michael Fellman
 

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0801874114

ISBN-13: 9780801874116

Pub. Date: 04/30/2003

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

Perhaps no other American historical figure is as shrouded in legend as General Robert E. Lee. Long extolled as the perfect gentleman as well as the consummate military commander, Lee—known as the Marble Man—has been venerated more than understood. During his lifetime, he contributed to this picture through the austerity and rigid control he tried to impose

Overview

Perhaps no other American historical figure is as shrouded in legend as General Robert E. Lee. Long extolled as the perfect gentleman as well as the consummate military commander, Lee—known as the Marble Man—has been venerated more than understood. During his lifetime, he contributed to this picture through the austerity and rigid control he tried to impose on himself.
        The Making of Robert E. Lee reveals the flesh-and-blood Lee—not to expose him but to better understand a man who was perhaps the most fervent practitioner of the Southern code of conduct, behind which he camouflaged much of his character.
        With unprecedented insight into Robert E. Lee's personal and public lives, Michael Fellman humanizes this one-dimensional icon, placing him within history rather than above it. With both detachment and compassion, Fellman deftly probes beneath the surface to show Lee as a deeply conflicted man, one with sometimes surprising views on sexuality, family, religion, and politics, as well as military practice. This realistic portrayal situates Lee firmly in the contexts of his time, place, class, gender, and race.        
        Although Lee tried to be a virtuous, even perfect man, he often flirted extravagantly—and perhaps did more—with women other than his wife. While he strove to be a kind and honest leader, he was extremely distant from and controlling of both his sons and the soldiers in his Civil War army. With his deeply ingrained habits of command, Lee the aristocraticdisciplinarian looked down upon the white lower orders as he did upon slaves.
        After a distinguished if conventional career in the peacetime American army, Lee chose to join the Confederate cause on account of his unquestioning identification with the values and interests of the Virginia slaveholding class. Something of a failure during the first year of combat, Lee was thrust into command at a crucial juncture in the war, just as the Union army approached Richmond, the Confederate capital. Fellman argues that "the Civil War rescued Robert E. Lee from marginality and obscurity."
        No general proved more audacious and tenacious than Lee, and none had a greater passion for battle. For a year, almost without exception, an increasingly confident Lee guided a seemingly invincible army, winning great victories at high costs. Finally overreaching the capabilities of his troops, Lee led them into crushing defeat at Gettysburg, after which his customary humility returned.
        Paradoxically, even though war ultimately reinforced Lee's deep pessimism in the face of Fate, afterward he became a conscious inspiration and adviser to elite whites who sought to destroy Reconstruction and keep blacks at the bottom of the social order. he became a spokesman as well as a rallying point for those postwar Southern nationalists who sought, with success, to maintain and strengthen white supremacy.
        Fellman's study does far more than any previous book both to uncover the intelligent, ambitious, and often troubled man behind the legend and to explore his life within the social, cultural, and political contexts of the mid-nineteenth-century South.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801874116
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
04/30/2003
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.99(d)

Table of Contents

Contents:

Introduction

Struggling for Self-Mastery

Chapter 1 Patrimony Recaptured

Chapter 2 Marriage, Eros, and Self

Chapter 3 Fatherhood and Salvation

Chapter 4 Race and Slavery

Chapter 5 Politics and Secession

Chapter 6 The Trials of War

Chapter 7 Audacity

Chapter 8 Defeat at Gettysburg

Chapter 9 To the Lost Cause

Chapter 10 The War He Refused

Chapter 11 Cincinnatus

Chapter 12 Barbarians in the Garden

Chapter 13 Southern Nationalist

Epilogue Hannibal's GhostAcknowledgments

Abbreviations

Notes

Index

Johns Hopkins University Press

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Making of Robert E. Lee 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One star is for a nice cover. I got this book off of the sale rack and now I know why it was there. I majored in history in college and one thing that one had to be careful about when writing papers was finding good, objective sources. This is not one of them. It is just plain slander. Fellman paints Lee as a racist. Lee was not a man without fault, however his prejudeces must be viewed in the context of his time, not ours. Even Lincoln if viewed by today's standards would be considered a racist. Lee could be extreamly kind, but he also had an awful temper. He considered himself somewhat of a failure and he may have been over confident on the third day of Gettysburg. He was a man who felt that slaves were better off in captivity in this country than in Africa but at the same time he would be the only white man who would kneel beside a black man to recieve the Eucharist. He would also go on to grant freedom to his father-in-law's slaves and say that slavery would in the end be more detrimental to the white man. Fellman is clearly not an objective author and to a first time Lee biography reader the image the author would give the poor soul is one of the general wearing a sheet and a pointed hood rather than a military uniform. I have read countless books on Lee, some that portray the man as a saint and others showing his human frailties. A more objective title to check out would be Charles Roland's Refections on Lee: A Historian's Assessment. Dr. Roland provides the reader with a fair treatment of Lee and shows his strengths and his human side. Douglas S. Freeman's 'Lee' is a very favorable look at Lee, but it is highly detailed from a military standpoint. It is clear that Dr. Freeman admired Lee, but the book does not go as far as to put the general up for sainthood. As for Fellman's book, the only reason I'm glad I procured it was that my copy will not fall into the hands of some poor uninformed reader. I have never until now given a title such a low mark, but what Fellman has done is write a book that should be sold next to the other scandal rags one would find at the grocery store check-out line.