Robert E. Lee: A Biography

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Overview

"The best and most balanced of the Lee biographies."—New York Review of Books
The life of Robert E. Lee is a story not of defeat but of triumph—triumph in clearing his family name, triumph in marrying properly, triumph over the mighty Mississippi in his work as an engineer, and triumph over all other military men to become the towering figure who commanded the Confederate army in the American Civil War. But late in life Lee confessed that he "was always wanting something."
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Robert E. Lee: A Biography

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Overview

"The best and most balanced of the Lee biographies."—New York Review of Books
The life of Robert E. Lee is a story not of defeat but of triumph—triumph in clearing his family name, triumph in marrying properly, triumph over the mighty Mississippi in his work as an engineer, and triumph over all other military men to become the towering figure who commanded the Confederate army in the American Civil War. But late in life Lee confessed that he "was always wanting something."
In this probing and personal biography, Emory Thomas reveals more than the man himself did. Robert E. Lee has been, and continues to be, a symbol and hero in the American story. But in life, Thomas writes, Lee was both more and less than his legend. Here is the man behind the legend.

Thomas's thorough examination of Lee's life reveals more than the man did himself, allowing readers to find meaning in Lee's failures and successes. Lee was actually a man of little expressed passion for whom war was a release. His sense of duty and ability to push to a conclusion helped him rise to power and survive his inevitable defeat.

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Editorial Reviews

Virginia Pilot and Ledger
“A gripping, flesh-and-blood portrait.”— Barrett R. Richardson
Civil War News
“Splendid. . . . The most even-tempered and sophisticated portrait that we are likely to see for another thirty years.”— T. Michael Parrish
Barrett R. Richardson - Virginia Pilot and Ledger
“A gripping, flesh-and-blood portrait.”
T. Michael Parrish - Civil War News
“Splendid. . . . The most even-tempered and sophisticated portrait that we are likely to see for another thirty years.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Thomas, a distinguished historian of the Civil War (The Confederacy as a Revolutionary Experience), has written a major analytical biography of Robert E. Lee. Synthesizing printed and manuscript sources, he presents Lee as neither the icon of Douglas Southall Freeman nor the flawed figure presented by Thomas Connolly. Lee emerges instead as a man of paradoxes, whose frustrations and tribulations were the basis for his heroism. Lee's work was his play, according to the author, and throughout his life he made the best of his lot. Believing that evil springs from selfishness, he found release in service to his family, his country and, not least, to the men he led. One of history's great captains and most beloved generals, he refused to take himself too seriously. This comic vision of life ultimately shaped an individual who was both more and less than his legend. Highly recommended. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Library Journal
Gen. Robert Edward Lee was a leader who inspired great devotion among the men who followed him, and he continues to inspire great interest to this day. Thomas (The Confederate Nation, 1861-1865, 1979) presents a fresh look at the general. By examining Lee as a person, the biographer renders him intensely human. Lee is shown to be the son of an unstable father, a frustrated husband, and a devoted parent. He encountered many hardships but became great not "because of what he did ...but because of the way he lived." Given the prodigious number of Lee biographies available, this may be an optional purchase, but it is nonetheless a valuable addition to the studies of the general.-Robert A. Curtis, Taylor Memorial P.L., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Booknews
Thomas history, U. of Georgia recounts the story of Lee's life, revealing a man who, in spite of his many apparent triumphs including clearing his blighted family name, marrying properly, and commanding an army, was "always wanting something." Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393316315
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 633,644
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Emory M. Thomas is Regent's Professor of History at the University of Georgia and author of a number of books on the Civil War. He lives in Athens, Georgia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2014

    No body is writing tepots about this book,so write some!!!!!!

    WRITE MORE REVIEWS!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2014

    Horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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