Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause

Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause

by Ty Seidule

Hardcover

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Overview

"Ty Seidule scorches us with the truth and rivets us with his fierce sense of moral urgency." —Ron Chernow

In a forceful but humane narrative, former soldier and head of the West Point history department Ty Seidule's Robert E. Lee and Me challenges the myths and lies of the Confederate legacy—and explores why some of this country’s oldest wounds have never healed.

Ty Seidule grew up revering Robert E. Lee. From his southern childhood to his service in the U.S. Army, every part of his life reinforced the Lost Cause myth: that Lee was the greatest man who ever lived, and that the Confederates were underdogs who lost the Civil War with honor. Now, as a retired brigadier general and Professor Emeritus of History at West Point, his view has radically changed. From a soldier, a scholar, and a southerner, Ty Seidule believes that American history demands a reckoning.

In a unique blend of history and reflection, Seidule deconstructs the truth about the Confederacy—that its undisputed primary goal was the subjugation and enslavement of Black Americans—and directly challenges the idea of honoring those who labored to preserve that system and committed treason in their failed attempt to achieve it. Through the arc of Seidule’s own life, as well as the culture that formed him, he seeks a path to understanding why the facts of the Civil War have remained buried beneath layers of myth and even outright lies—and how they embody a cultural gulf that separates millions of Americans to this day.

Part history lecture, part meditation on the Civil War and its fallout, and part memoir, Robert E. Lee and Me challenges the deeply-held legends and myths of the Confederacy—and provides a surprising interpretation of essential truths that our country still has a difficult time articulating and accepting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250239266
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/26/2021
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 6,192
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

TY SEIDULE is Professor Emeritus of History at West Point where he taught for two decades. He served in the U.S. Army for thirty-six years, retiring as a brigadier general. He is the Chamberlain Fellow at Hamilton College as well as a New America Fellow. He has published numerous books, articles, and videos on military history including the award-winning West Point History of the Civil War. Ty graduated from Washington and Lee University and holds a PhD from the Ohio State University.

Table of Contents

Introduction

My Childhood: Raised on a White Southern Myth
My Hometown: A Hidden History of Slavery, Jim Crow, and Integration
My Adopted Hometowns: A Hidden History as "Lynchtown"
My College: The Shrine of the Lost Cause
My Military Career: Glorifying Confederates in the U.S. Army
My Academic Career: Glorifying Robert E. Lee at West Point
My Verdict: Robert E. Lee Committed Treason to Preserve Slavery
Epilogue: A Southern Soldier Confronts the Lost Cause in the Shrine of the South

Acknowledgements
Notes

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