This is a moving and intimate account of those years filled with the warmth of family ties and enduring friendships set against the harsh realities of Reconstruction. Though Lee is best remembered for his military campaigns, this was his finest hour, the great forgotten chapter of an extraordinary life.
©1981 Charles Bracelen Flood; (P)1990 Blackstone Audiobooks
"The narrator reads this gentle and poignant biography with an appropriately soft voice, sometimes slipping in a hint of a Southern accent which adds authenticity to the dialogue." (AudioFile)
As an avid reader of Civil War history I found this book to be extremely interesting in that it details Lee After the war's end. While he did not live a long life after 1865 he made incredible contributions to "the South" in providing stability where others might have maintained the fight.
His leadership at Washington College (Washington & Lee) was amazing as was how he created and led a piece of post-war higher education in the South.
My curiousity in learning more about the character of the man I had only ever known of as a great confederate general is solved. I am literally in awe of the man's integrity and character in accepting Civil War defeat and then striving to do what he can to help heal a nation and bring order to where there was strife. I enjoyed the book for telling about Lee's life following his surrender at Appomatex until his death five years later in Lexington, VA.
I have read quite a lot about Lee, but interestingly almost nothing about his last 5 years. This book begins at Appomattox and ends with his death in Lexington. His personality and character come through in his interactions with Washington College students and with belligerent Northern legislators unsuccessfully bent on shaming him. The narration is average but not distracting. The writing is top-notch. Highly recommended!
54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.
There are hundreds of books containing the exploits of this man in war which permit partial glimpses into this truly remarkable mans character, and there are numerous biography's which try to impart the heart and mind of the man behind the beard and title. Some biography's are quite good, but what is unique, fascinating and worthy of recounting of this man can perhaps best be gleaned and clarified by this, his last years, after the war.
Here is a man that didn't believe in slavery, or the division of his country, yet led the fight for those very causes. Why? to DEFEND his family. property and people( virginions.) When he was asked by Lincoln just before the war to lead the union army he said "I cannot raise my sword against my own people, and so you might say that he led the DEFENCE of his side and he did it amazingly well. So what does this man do and say after loosing his war against his own government and country?These are facinating things to ponder and learn about but its the man himself that was, and remains the wonder.
Lee was not just respected by both sides in the war. He was( and still is)) respected and loved to the point of awe, wonder and idolatry. The north dreaded having lost him to the south. "A better man never fought for a worse cause" was a common refrain in the north.. He was THE man among men. THE gentleman's gentleman. THE general among generals. You would be hard pressed to find such a rare example of exemplary manhood anywhere in history, and that is the wonder here, and it is very well displayed for all to see and learn from in this book of his last challenging years.
I am not a fancy writer so I cannot praise this biography as it deserves to be. Flood expertly does what I expect from any biographer: he researches for factual accuracy and writes as if he knew Robert E. Lee ... so I felt as if I knew him, down to the detail of the combover to hide his baldness. My admiration for Gen. Lee increased in direct proportion to the new information presented by Charles Bracelen Flood. FIVE STARS
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