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Comment: Hard cover. Contains only Volume I. Text clear with no highlighting or writing. Shows moderate wear, has brown stains on firsts and last pages, different cover same book, dust cover is missing, see pictures.
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R. E. Lee: A Biography, Vol. 1 Paperback – January 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Series: R.E. Lee (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Publications (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931313369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931313360
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William S. Grass on October 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am not familiar with the one-volume abridgement of this magisterial biography, but having read all four volumes I would be hard pressed to identify any area to be omitted in order to shorten this narrative.

The four volumes cover the following:

I. Family history, Light Horse Harry and birth through western Virginia campaign and Atlantic coast at the beginning of the war.

II. Assignment to Richmond, and Peninsula campaign through Chancellorsville.

III. Gettysburg, Overland campaign, Petersburg and loss of the railroads.

IV. Collapse of Petersburg lines, Appomattox, life in Lexington, and death.

Through his proximity in time and space to Lee, Freeman was able to gather a wealth of primary sources, such as letters and journals that were in the private hands of different families, and use them to flesh out the narrative of better known sources. It is unlikely that a more comprehensive account of Lee will ever be accomplished, regardless of what sources pop up or academic trends arise.

Freeman deftly employs the "fog of war" narration technique throughout the battle sequences. In other words, the narrative, instead of being omniscient, is told from Lee's perspective, and details of enemy movements and other developments are revealed to the reader only when Lee himself becomes aware of them.

The most common objection to Freeman's Lee is that it is hagiographic. It may be, but it would be impossible for a biographer to complete a work of this scope unless he actually admired his subject. Freeman is not without criticism of Lee, especially in the area of being too sensitive with the feelings of subordinates, for example, Loring in western Virginia and Longstreet at Second Manassas and Gettysburg.
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R. E. Lee: A Biography, Vol. 1
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