Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters

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Penguin, May 3, 2007 - History - 688 pages
2 Reviews
A tantalizing biography of the legendary Civil War hero--Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Watch for Elizabeth Brown Pryor's new book, Six Encounters with Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and its Demons, coming from Viking in February 2017 

Robert E. Lee is remembered by history as a tragic figure, stoic and brave but distant and enigmatic. Using dozens of previously unpublished letters as departure points, Pryor produces a stunning personal account of Lee's military ability, shedding new light on every aspect of the complex and contradictory general's life story. Explained for the first time in the context of the young United States's tumultuous societal developments, Lee's actions reveal a man forced to play a leading role in the formation of the nation at the cost of his private happiness.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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User Review  - ALincolnNut - LibraryThing

By the end of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee had become an iconic American figure, as much myth as mortal even before his death in 1870. Since then, few historians have attempted to dig very deeply into ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lfranco - LibraryThing

One of the best biographies on Lee. It delves into his family life, military career and his views on slavery and secession. Every chapters begins with a letter either written by him or his family and friends. Read full review


Reading the Man
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twentyone
Chapter Twentytwo
Chapter Twentythree

Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Twentyfour
Chapter Twentyfive
Chapter Twentysix
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2007)

Elizabeth Brown Pryor (1951–2015) combined careers as an award-winning historian and a senior diplomat in the American Foreign Service. She was the author of the biography Clara Barton: Professional Angel, considered the authoritative work on the founder of the American Red Cross, and Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters, which won the 2008 Lincoln Prize, the 2007 Jefferson Davis Award, the 2008 Richard B. Harwell Book Award, and the 2007 Richard S. Slatten Award for Excellence in Virginia Biography.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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