From the acclaimed author of Gettysburg: The Last Invasion comes a sweeping, intimate biography of the Confederate general who betrayed his nation in order to defend his home state and uphold the slave system he claimed to oppose.
Robert E. Lee is one of the most confounding figures in American history. He was a traitor to the country he swore to serve as an Army officer, and yet he was admired even by his enemies for his composure and leadership. He considered slavery immoral, but benefited from inherited slaves and fought to defend the institution. And behind his genteel demeanor and perfectionism lurked the insecurities of a man haunted by the legacy of a father who stained the family name by declaring bankruptcy and who disappeared when Robert was just six years old.
In Lee, the award-winning historian Allen Guelzo has written the definitive biography of the general, following him from his refined upbringing in Virginia high society, to his long career in the U.S. Army, his agonized decision to side with Virginia when it seceded from the Union, and his leadership during the Civil War. Above all, Guelzo captures Lee in all his complexity–his hypocrisy and courage, his outward calm and inner turmoil, his honor and his disloyalty.