Children's LiteratureDavid C. King's illustrated biography of the Southern icon, General Robert E. Lee, is a study in contradictions. On the one hand, the author develops a fast paced, informative and exciting narrative. Drawing on a number of primary sources, King includes quotations from soldiers' writings that amplify the experiences of the men who fought the Civil War. In this arena, King does an excellent job of drawing a verbal picture of Civil War combat. Conversely, a series of minor factual misstatements that are sprinkled throughout the book will distract a reader who has any depth of understanding of the Civil War era. King misidentifies the 6th Wisconsin Regiment as the Iron Brigade when it was merely one of its components, exaggerates the firing rate of Union cavalrymen at Gettysburg, labels General Alfred Pleasanton as a division rather that a corps commander, and falsely indicates that Union troops balked when ordered to counterattack after Pickett's Charge. In addition, King ends his book with a touching anecdote involving the retired General Lee taking communion with a brave hearted African American. The report of this incident is unique and one that warrants a specific citation, as it is disputable. In addition, the focus of this book wavers between a generalized history of Civil War combat and a biography of the Marble Man who was Robert E. Lee. All in all, this is an interesting study of Civil War history but also one that wanders and sometimes misrepresents events. Part of "Triangle Histories the Civil War" series. 2001, Blackbirch Press, $19.95. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-9-These biographies of individuals whose names are synonymous with the Civil War focus on the war years. The men's early lives, education, occupation, and family life are outlined in two chapters or less. All three of them overcame great personal and professional obstacles, sometimes mistakes, to reach their lifetime goals and to fulfill their duty to their country. The texts incorporate quotes, sidebars, and highlighted topical pages. In addition to coverage of the war years, Lee and Grant also briefly discuss their postwar lives. Common themes and repeated information tie these series titles together and reinforce basic facts about the era. Excellent color and black-and-white illustrations, maps, and photographs are found throughout each volume. Although there are no textual citations, each book includes lists of suggested readings and Web sites for additional information.-Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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