5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A fine account
, June 8, 2014
This review is from: Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee (Hardcover)
First of all,despite having a great-great grandfather, and a great -great uncle serve in the Union Army, one directly against Lee in the Army of the Potomac, I still find myself seeing much to admire in Robert E. Lee.
I have not read Freeman's massive work, but I have read many other biographies of Lee, and have formed my opinion, which doesn't seem to waver, over many years.
What does confound me, though, is Lee's first loyalty to his state, rather than the country as a whole, especially having served so honorably in the U.S. Army for so many years. That, I will never comprehend, or forgive.
Certainly, Lee was one of America's greatest soldiers, if not THE greatest. Who else could have staved off defeat against daunting odds, for so long? Certainly, he was "assisted" for quite some time by the generally abysmal performance of his counterparts in the Union Army. U.S. Grant ended that, for good.
Lee was a man of exceptional character, but not the " marble man" that others have constructed, and the author goes to some length to debunk those theories.
Korda does an outstanding job in describing Lee's family background and history, and his efforts to overcome the unsavory aspects of his father's life, in which he was by and large successful.
The author writes in a very readable and engaging manner, and despite the book's length, it is not a daunting task, but an enjoyable and illuminating journey, with a great man, who sadly, served a bad cause. Yes, I say a bad cause, especially to all those lost cause advocates, and those who blame the Union for invading states that REBELLED.
Thank God the Union prevailed, despite all the blood shed by good men on both sides.
The maps in this book are of varying quality, and most are poor, IMHO. As important as they are in a military history, it's a major oversight. Virtually all the illustrations have been seen before.
Overall, a compelling read about a man of great martial skills, honor, and integrity, who always did his duty, as he saw fit.
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