The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee by Thomas Fleming

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Synopsis

1865. The Civil War is over and the South lies in ruins. But for some, the former slaveholders have not been punished enough. A cabal of powerful men, led by Charles A. Dana, the Assistant Secretary of War, plot to break the spirit of the South once and for all--by convicting General Robert E. Lee of treason and hanging him like a common criminal.
To this end, they have convened a secret military tribunal in Lee's former home in Arlington, Virginia.
Jeremiah O'Brien of The New York Tribune, a long-time protege of Dana's, is the only reporter allowed to attend the trial. His exclusive reports on this momentous event, and the book he intends to write, will surely make his fortune. Yet as the trial proceeds, pitting the general against his accusers, O'Brien finds himself torn between his loyalty to Dana, his love for a beautiful Confederate spy, and his growing respect and compassion for Lee himself. The young reporter is supposed to be only an observer, but, in the end, it is O'Brien who must evaluate the evidence . . . and determine the true meaning of honor.
Written by acclaimed author and historian Thomas Fleming, The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee brings to life a fascinating chapter in American history that might well have happened--and perhaps truly did.

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About Thomas Fleming

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New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming is one of the most distinguished and productive historians and novelists of our time. He has written 20 nonfiction books that have won prizes and praise from critics and fellow historians, many with a special focus on the American Revolution. He has also written 23 historical novels, many of them bestsellers.
 
Published September 17, 2010 by Forge Books. 432 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee

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Another surprise, courtesy of Fleming, is his account of the ethnic composition of the Continental forces, filled with German and Irish newcomers, with Indians and blacks—all of whom were tested the following spring and acquitted themselves well at places like Monmouth, where the tide of war turned.

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Kirkus Reviews

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As his latest opens, New York news mogul Charles Dana, well embedded inside the War Department, is hopping mad, bent on punishing the entire rebel South for its perfidy, and he expects his Irish flunky Jeremiah O’Brien to hop to the cause by whispering into a few well-placed Union ears, agitating...

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Publishers Weekly

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Fleming credits Washington's achievement to a force of character that increasingly impressed soldiers and politicians alike, but even more to Washington's ability to persuade waverers and opponents to his point of view by using a "series of positive proposals, well researched and closely argued."

Aug 15 2005 | Read Full Review of The Secret Trial of Robert E....

Publishers Weekly

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Fleming imagines what might have happened if a cabal of Radicals led by assistant secretary of war Charles Dana had managed to arrange a secret trial of Lee—the very symbol of the South.

Nov 07 2005 | Read Full Review of The Secret Trial of Robert E....

Historical Novel Society

Dana, Assistant Secretary of War, they press for the trial of Lee on charges of treason, with the intention of executing him.

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