Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier Paperback – December 1, 1994
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
The facts of history cannot be changed, however, and Wert musters them on these pages to advance a bold claim: "Longstreet, not Jackson, was the finest corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia; in fact, he was arguably the best corps commander in the conflict on either side." Wert describes his subject as strategically aggressive, but tactically reserved. The bulk of the book appropriately focuses on the Civil War, but Wert also briefly delves into Longstreet's life before and after it. Most interestingly, it was framed by a friendship with Ulysses S. Grant, formed at West Point and continuing into old age. Longstreet even served in the Grant administration--an act that called into question his loyalty to the Lost Cause, and explains in part why Wert's biography is a welcome antidote to much of what has been written about this controversial figure. --John J. Miller
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This biography tells the story of the rise and military career of the general Lee referred to as "my old warhorse." A superb fighter - perhaps the most tenacious of Lee's Corps commanders, Longstreet had a preference for the defense, or at least a defensive posture awaiting an opportunity to counter-punch. His one independent fighting command, against Burnside in East Tennessee, revealed that the General was best suited to Corps command under a Lee or other officer of strategic vision.
Yet Longstreet served his cause well. Unwilling to join in the deification of Lee after the war (and even criticizing him on some matters), Longstreet also became a Republican and accepted an appointment from his old pre-war friend (now president) U.S. Grant. These moves caused a significant anti-Longstreet backlash across the South -- which taints his reputation even to this day.
I must say that Wert does a good job of exploring the controversary over his reputation and examining the highlights of his career. The information in the book is significant, if less than thorough and somewhat unevenly presented. I also found the voice of the author too present in the reading -- something in the way the book is written doesn't allow it to reach it's own voice or a consistently even flow. I would give this four stars for the subject and facts and three stars for the quality of the writing.
All in all, not bad and worthwhile if someone wants to acquaint themselves with Longstreet.
Jeffry D. Wert's able pen (he writes in a very clear, concise and easily comprehensible style) and obviously meticulous research presents Lee's "old war-horse" as a general possessed with great strategic vision, an outstanding ability to lead troops in the field, and with tactically conservative, yet sound, instincts. Longstreet's personal flaws - his inability to control his emotions and support his superiors when he disagreed with them, and his vindictiveness toward his subordinates when they disagreed with him - are also fully explored. The author's admiration for his subject is evident throughout this book. The overall portrait that emerges is favorable - a general beloved by his troops and depended upon for his wise counsel and military skills by his boss, General Robert E. Lee; but also a military leader capable of serious misjudgments both on the field of battle, and in his dealings with both his superiors and subordinates.
This is one of the better biographies of one of the major figures of the Civil War, and a book I enjoyed thoroughly. I would have preferred a bit more detail on Longstreet's life after the Civil War, but that is my only (and very minor) reservation. Highly recommended for all Civil War enthusiasts!
This books is wonderful both as an account of Longstreet's life and, surprisingly, as a general introduction to the war in the East (plus a bit about Longstreet's stint in the West.) Wert provides well-detailed descriptions of the tactical elements of each battle involving Longstreet without becoming boring, even to the inexperienced reader. His views on Longstreet are intriguing and thought provoking, and a more balanced and objective account is, as far as I've read, not to be found.
I apologize if my rather sentimental past with this particular tome has skewed my analysis of it, but this book will always hold a special place in my heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Politics, thank God or the Democrats might have won the war.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Being honest, I haven't yet finished this fine book. Longstreet was a controversial figure and a very able General, and it makes me wonder if he wasn't actually a better war... Read morePublished 5 months ago by sammy
Great insights into Longstreet's life as a soldier and post-CW bureaucrat and businessman.
Gives interesting first-person perspectives (aka rebuttals) to Longstreet's... Read more
Excellent...would have liked a few more maps to follow the movement of the battles.Published 8 months ago by Ellen
This book is a very fair and wonderful tribute to a great general and a great confederate. I loved it.Published 9 months ago by Dave small business owner
Excellent review of General Longstreet's career, both good and bad! Got into the political world of the Confederate Army, which has not been done very much or well.Published 10 months ago by Jack E. Spencer
General James Longstreet is my favorite character from the Civil War. I became interested in him when I read Killer Angels. Read morePublished 11 months ago by William E. James