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Lee's Lieutenants (3 volumes) Hardcover – January 1, 1970


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Hardcover, January 1, 1970
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons; Later printings edition (1970)
  • ASIN: B000K3G6DM
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,373,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L. E. Cantrell VINE VOICE on August 23, 2008
Douglas Southall Freeman (1886-1953) was a southerner, a Lynchburg-born Virginian; a newspaper man, editor of the Richmond News Leader from 1915 to 1949 and, most of all, a historian of such stature that it is no exaggeration to call him a giant.

His reputation is based primarily upon three great pillars: "Robert E. Lee," four volumes, published 1934-35, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1935; "Lee's Lieutenants," three volumes, published 1942-44; "George Washington," seven volumes, published 1949-57 (the final volume completed posthumously by his assistants), winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1958.

These fourteen thick books are not only good in themselves, they have virtually set the playing field for all subsequent histories. To a historian, Freeman is simply there, and he cannot be avoided by anyone studying Lee or his army, or George Washington or his. This is not to say that Freeman is either an ultimate authority or that he is infallible. Progress has been made and new information has been discovered since Freeman's time. (For example, modern metal detectors have established that a few battles and firefights actually took place in locations where no surviving written records had put them.)

Nevertheless, any historian putting notions to paper in contradiction to those of Freeman must do it consciously and only when fully prepared to defend his departure from Freeman's well-known line.

In his forward to "Lee's Lieutenants," Freeman wrote that after completing his biography of Robert E. Lee in 1934, he began to collect material for a biography of George Washington, but he "found that mentally it was not easy to leave the struggle about which one had been writing for twenty years and more.
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By Al on April 5, 2013
Freeman was not a professional scholar, and this makes this work and his biography of Lee that much more impressive. It was a fascinating read into the personalities of Lee's main subordinates, especially the young Sandie Pendelton. Freeman clearly mastered his sources in an age where you had to physically travel to examine documentary sources. It's clear that Freeman is a Lee partisan, but this in no way detracts from the scope or quality of the work. It's meant to be a study of command: methods, techniques, personalities. As a professional soldier, I took away quite a few lessons from this work. Timeless.
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