Robert E. Lee

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The life of Robert E. Lee is a story 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 wrote what may be his most revealing phrase. He confessed that he "was always wanting something." This from perhaps the South's greatest hero, the man whose demeanor and presence in ...
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1995 Hardcover New in New jacket Book. 6 1/2 By 9 1/2" Triumph in clearing his family name, marrying properly, engineering over the Mississippi, military success in Civil War, ... allowing for meaning in his successes & failures. 1St Edition, DJ protected in Mylar. Extra Postage for International & Priority. Read more Show Less

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Robert E. Lee: A Biography

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Overview

The life of Robert E. Lee is a story 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 wrote what may be his most revealing phrase. He confessed that he "was always wanting something." This from perhaps the South's greatest hero, the man whose demeanor and presence in war were sufficient to inspire thousands to march to near-certain death. In this probing and personal biography, Emory Thomas's thorough examination of Lee's life reveals more than the man did himself, allowing us to find meaning in Lee's successes and failures. From his struggles as a youth with his father's humiliation, to his frustrating marriage into a proper and prominent family, and his lively relationships with young female friends and relatives, Lee - the uncertain scion, skilled engineer, consummate warrior, and college president - was actually an enigmatic person of latent passions. He lived in limbo between the self-control to which he aspired and the freedom for which he longed.

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

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)
Gilbert Taylor
homas positions this life of the Marble Man as a corrective to critical appraisals such as Alan Nolan's "Lee Reconsidered" (1991). Both authors must contend with Douglas Southall Freeman's enduring "R. E. Lee" (1934), so what a revealing delight are Thomas' newly mined nuggets that humanize the image of the imperturbable, heroic, saintly, and suffering Lee. Thomas extracts them from Lee's preCivil War career, when he was mastering battlements (as an engineer) before mastering battles. Family life predominates, especially the legacy of Lee's famed father, "Light Horse" Harry Lee, Washington's cavalry chief, who landed in debtors prison. Thomas makes the case that that disgrace impelled the son on a lifelong, if subconscious, quest to repair by personal example the family name; hence Lee's legendary devotion to honor, duty, and courtesy. Perhaps his unspoken embarrassment was compounded by dependence on others for a living (his wealthy wife, the militaries, a college). The war narratives are professionally rendered (Thomas is many times an acclaimed Civil War author), but always in focus is the shy, conflict-avoiding Lee personality, excepting conflicts at the Seven Days and elsewhere, of course. Be Lee traitor or patriot, he is a compelling American figure. This fine work is an obligatory acquisition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393037302
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 6.18 (h) x 1.50 (d)

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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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