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Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee (Leaders in Action) Hardcover – February 1, 1997

3.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wilkins is founder and president of the Southern Heritage Society and serves on the board of directors of the Southern League.

GEORGE GRANT was one of Canada\s most influential philosophers and author of the seminal book "Lament for a Nation".' --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Leaders in Action
  • Hardcover: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Cumberland House Publishing; 1st Cumberland ed edition (February 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888952237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888952230
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 1.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Taylor on August 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Slavery, as it operated in the pervasively Christian society which was the old South, was not an adversarial relationship founded upon racial animosity. In fact, it bred on the whole, not contempt, but, over time, mutual respect. This produced a mutual esteem of the sort that always results when men give themselves to a common cause. The credit for this startling reality must go to the Christian faith. . . The unity and companionship that existed between the races in the South prior to the war was the fruit of a common faith."

Oh really? "United and companionship".

That Robert E. Lee was a great man and general is not in dispute. Suggesting that a whole race of people kept in chains as subhuman, not to mention the next 100+ years of opression after the Civil War, were happy slaves who respected their masters because they shared Christianity is appalling. Simple appalling.

There are many great books on Robert E. Lee that deserve reading. This man's trash does not.
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Format: Hardcover
I can see why this is one of Michelle Bachman's favorite books. I very much admire her wisdom and unflinching moral values. I've been reading books on various Revolutionary War, Constitutional Convention leaders, American Presidents and other historical subjects and decided to read up on the Confederate leaders. I could not have picked a more well written, thoroughly researched, informative and enjoyable book to read on Lee. Along with Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, Lee is now one of my hero's.

While obviously having a deep respect for Lee's character and moral values, the author discusses his flaws as well. The author, J. Steven Wilkes, quotes extensively from letters, speeches and other correspondence of Lee, his family, and other contemporaries of the General's. The book's author thoroughly understands the Confederate South and it's way of of thinking and doing. For example, while the North declared total war on the South and killed civilians, raped their women, pillaged and destroyed their property, needlessly burned whole cities to the ground and more, the South refused to do the same to the North but rather practiced civilized warfare. While discussing his military career, the book also discusses Lee's family life. He was A Christian who lived what the Bible teaches. I highly recommend this book. Lee is truly an admirable man. I've also read Wilkins book on another truly admirable Southern general Stonewall Jackson. He was also a Christian who lived his life to please God and was a good friend of Lee's. I recommend this book as well.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read a lot of biographies over the years and found this one to be refreshingly well written. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I read it again. I have also read several other titles in this "Leaders In Action" series and found this to be the best title in my opinion. So many of the other titles are DRY, DRY, DRY. Vaughan really helped me understand why Lee was voted into the Hall Of Fame For Great Americans (in Bronx, NY) the first year of it's inception. I was also amazed at the leadership of Lee AFTER the Civil War in his role as president of Washington College as well as impacted by his Christian character. Oh, and as to the claim that any West Point officer joining the CSA was a traitor - I have recently learned that up until the Civil War the officers from West Point took an oath of allegiance to their home state and not the United States. That was changed, however, after the Civil War. That fact has made me view some of these persons in a different light. Funny, I wasn't taught that in school. This fact alone was one of the key driving forces in Lee's decision to follow his home state of Virginia into the CSA even though he did not agree with succession and his family had freed their slaves years earlier. Certainly challenged my views and gave me lots of food for thought.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a distorted view of the causes of the Civil War, masked as a biography of one of its greatest generals, Robert E. Lee. According to Wilkins, the South was Christian, the North was not, and the war's purpose was the "subjugation" and destruction of Southern beliefs. The passages regarding slavery are particularly abhorrent, such as:"it was (and is) easily demonstrable, that, taken as a whole, there is no question that blacks in this country, slavery notwithstanding, were 'immeasurably better off' in every way." (p. 299) And this one from the same page: "Time was needed for the sanctifying effects of Christianity to work in the black race and fit its people for freedom."

This book is used in many home schooling curricula, and was recommended for a long time on Michelle Bachman's website as a must read. How a candidate for the highest office in the nation could accept such an ahistorical account of one of the greatest tragedies in our nation is truly frightening.
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Format: Paperback
This book was deceitful and misleading, like most Confederate propaganda. J. Steven Wilkins was cunning in his choice and presentation of facts. If someone with no knowledge of the Civil War read this book, he would be left with an absolutely incorrect perspective of Robert E. Lee, the institution of slavery, and the Civil War in general.

First, there are inconsistencies between "Call of Duty" and... "Call of Duty"! At one point in the book, Wilkins quotes Lee as saying, "If the slaves of the South were mine, I would surrender them all without a struggle, to avert this war." Later, Wilkins claims that Lee was offended and hurt that anyone thought slavery had anything to do with the war. So answer me this...how could freeing slaves avert a war that had nothing to do with slavery?

Another instance where the book contradicts itself is regarding race relations. Wilkins tries to sell the idea that Southern whites and Southern slaves lived in perfect harmony, respecting each other without the slightest presence of racism. Once again, later in the book this changes...Wilkins tells us of a church in Richmond whose attendees were shocked by a Negro who went up to take Communion! None of the churchgoers, except for Lee, as the story goes, wanted to be the first one to participate with a colored man. How is this possible in a society where racism is absent? Wilkins tries to blame this on Reconstruction, but I doubt a society could go from having no racism whatsoever to this degree of racism in such a short period of time.

The book also contradicts history...notably, regarding Robert Lee and slavery. The book says that Lee never seemed to have owned more than six slaves. This is not true.
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