Light-Horse Harry Lee

The Rise and Fall of a Revolutionary Hero
By: Ryan Cole
Narrated by: John McLain
Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

He was a dashing military hero who led the fight for America's independence. His son would later become the general who almost tore America apart.

Henry Lee III - whose nickname, "Light-Horse," came from his legendary exploits with mounted troops and skill in the saddle - was a dashing cavalry commander and hero of America's War for Independence. By now most Americans have forgotten about Light-Horse Harry Lee, the father of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, but this new biography reveals he may be one of the most fascinating figures in our nation's history. A daring military commander, Lee was also an early American statesman whose passionate argument in favor of national unity helped ratify the Constitution. 

When President George Washington needed to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion, he sent in his friend Light-Horse Harry Lee with 12,000 militiamen. When Washington died, Lee was the man who famously eulogized our first president as "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen." With incredible stories about Light-Horse Harry Lee's interactions with famous men and women - including George and Martha Washington, Nathanial Greene, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr - this book paints a rich portrait of an underappreciated American character and provides unique new insight into the upbringing and motivations of Lee's infamous son, General Robert E. Lee.

©2019 Ryan Cole (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

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In a world where liberty is on the line...

This was a great book, but I have to say, the narration is what struck me the most. I have read and listened to many similar biographies, probably over one hundred, and I have never had one presented to me in such a way. It was, in a word, refreshing.

Most books like this are read in a scholarly way which eschews the dramatic, instead focusing on clarity and enunciation. They are all, for better or worse, pedantic. While I will concede that a more subdued, intellectual reading is what most purchasers of this genre are seeking, I think that Light-horse Harry's story gains greatly from this more bucolic tone and rhythm.

I would describe the narrator as somewhere between Baxter Black and Don LaFontaine. Admittedly, it is a bit abrasive at points. The baritone drawl seems out of place in some of the book's more somber passages. Also, his insistence on placing the accent on the first "H" of words with French roots is grating. I imagine he says, "a hour" or "a honor," instead of using "an," in his normal conversation...

These are just trifles, however. The fact that I have to resort to such querulous complaints shows how much I truly did enjoy the reading. It made the story totally engrossing, instead of the slog that the more strictly historical passages could have easily been. Huzza, good Sir, huzza! Do Patrick Henry next!

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Remarkable life - wonderfully told

I’ve read biographies on all of the founding fathers. Been looking for several years for the life of Harry Lee. This work was worth the wait. This is a fascinating read and connects many of the missed links of the revolution