Lee by Douglas Southall Freeman

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Synopsis

Douglas Southall Freeman’s Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Robert E. Lee was greeted with critical acclaim when it was first published in 1935. Stephen Vincent Benét said “There is a monument—and a fine one—to Robert E. Lee at Lexington. But this one, I think, will last as long.” This reissue of Richard Harwell’s abridgment fulfills Benét’s prophecy, chronicling all the major aspects and highlights of the general’s military career, from his stunning accomplishments in the Mexican War to the humbling surrender at Appomattox.

More than just a military leader, Lee embodied all the conflicts of his time. The son of a Revolutionary War hero and related by marriage to George Washington, he was the product of young America’s elite. When Abraham Lincoln offered him command of the United States Army, however, he choose to lead the confederate ranks, convinced that his first loyalty lay with his native Virginia. Although a member of the planter class, he felt that slavery was “a moral and political evil.” Aloof and somber, he nevertheless continually inspired his men by his deep concern for their personal welfare.

Freeman’s achievement is the full portrait of a great American—a distinguished, scholarly, yet eminently readable classic that has linked Freeman to Lee as irrevocably as Boswell to Dr. Johnson.
 

About Douglas Southall Freeman

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Douglas Southall Freeman was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1886, the son of a Confederate soldier. After receiving a Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University at the age of twenty-two, he embarked on a newspaper career. He was named the editor of the Richmond "News Leader" at the age of twenty-nine, a post he would hold for thirty-four years. In 1915, Freeman was commissioned by Scribner's to write a one-volume biography of Robert E. Lee; twenty years of work later, his four-volume "R. E. Lee" won the Pulitzer Prize. The three volumes of "Lee's Lieutenants" took him a relatively modest eight years to complete. He won another Pulitzer Prize for his six-volume biography of George Washington, which he finished only hours before his death in 1953.
 
Published June 30, 2008 by Scribner. 656 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lee

Civil War News

The chapters contain sections: “Before the War,” “During the War” and “After the War.” They all provide stories about Lee or statements by him, culled from the vast Lee literature.

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