Looking Lee book recommendations

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Växjö, Sweden
#1
I have been commissioned to write a "long" (25000 characters) article on Robert E Lee for a magazine. I'm not an expert on Lee, and need to do some reading. For depth I will read Kordas book Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee. Korda and I seems to be roughly on the same page in our assessment of Lees character and generalship, so his book will do fine.

However, it is big beast of a book and in addition I would like to read something shorter and more to the point. Is there a good biography on Lee that is 250 pages long or less? "Good" to me equals based on original sources (not others writing) and balanced (making niether a saint nor a buffoon out of the man). It's fine if the book covers just the Civil War period of his life.

I could also use a good book on Lees generalship. I presume there are dozens of them out there, so which one if I'm only to read one?
 

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bdietzler73

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#4
He is worried about a big book,Freeman's book is 4 volumes.
Sorry, I should have said that I was referring to the abridged version. I got a nice abridged version of the four volumes a couple years ago and loved it. It's short and covers a lot of what he covered in the four volume set. I think it would be great for what he is looking for :smile:
 

unicornforge

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#6
I recommend the book by his nephew for a view of Lee from inside of the family. Fitzhugh discusses letters Lee wrote to his wife including letters describing his motivations and concerns:

General Lee: A Biography of Robert E. Lee
By Fitzhugh Lee (1835–1905 ,General, CSA), R.E. Lee's nephew
https://www.amazon.com/General-Lee-Biography-Robert/dp/0306805898
 
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dlofting

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#7
The "Wartime Papers of Robert E Lee" edited by Clifford Downey etal provides a bit of an insight into Lee's personality, particularly through his letters to family. It's not the type of book you necessarily read from cover to cover, but rather one where you can select letters to particular people or from a given period of time.
 
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#8
Robert E. Lee: A Biography by Emory M. Thomas
It's a bit long, but it do have the virtue of being in the holdings of my local university library. So I'll probably get it.

The "Wartime Papers of Robert E Lee" edited by Clifford Downey etal provides a bit of an insight into Lee's personality, particularly through his letters to family. It's not the type of book you necessarily read from cover to cover, but rather one where you can select letters to particular people or from a given period of time.
I'll take a look at it; it might be useful for a quote or two. And I found it on-line!

Lee, by Douglas Southall Freeman is, what I think, "the" book on Robert E. Lee. I have read a few about Lee and consider that my favorite. I am interested to see what others think.
Interesting, given that it is pretty old - but not dated?

What is it that makes it so good?

-------------------------------------
I am open for more suggestions - is there a short or really short book out there that is good?
 
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north central florida
#9
It's a bit long. but it do have the virute of being in the holdings of my local university library. So I'll probably get it.



I'll take a look at i; it might be useful for a quote or two. And I found it on-line!



Interesting, given that it is pretty old - but not dated?

What is it that makes it so good?

-------------------------------------
I am open for more suggestions - is there a short or really short book out there that is good?
Freeman is known as the best expert on R.E.Lee.it might be dated but there has been nothing to equal since.
 

bdietzler73

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#10
It's a bit long. but it do have the virute of being in the holdings of my local university library. So I'll probably get it.



I'll take a look at i; it might be useful for a quote or two. And I found it on-line!



Interesting, given that it is pretty old - but not dated?

What is it that makes it so good?

-------------------------------------
I am open for more suggestions - is there a short or really short book out there that is good?
The abridgment of the four volume set was done in 1991. It is available in many places.
This work has been considered to be some of the best work about Robert E. Lee in everything that has been written about him. The abridged version is short, the version I have here at my home that I read a few years ago is only 581 pages. That is still pretty long.

I took a quick look and found this. This is a "gateway" page to several articles about Lee. You may be able to find something here.

http://www.historynet.com/robert-e-lee

Thank you,
Bryan
 

Joshism

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#12
For depth I will read Kordas book Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee. Korda and I seems to be roughly on the same page in our assessment of Lees character and generalship, so his book will do fine.
I think Clouds of Glory is a seriously flawed biography. I can't copy & paste from the Goodreads app so here's a link to my review instead:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/945474494
 
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#15
The man led a very full life so in order to address all aspects of his life it requires a big book.
Yes, that is true, but it is also true that a writer/historian must be able to make choices about what is important to say or not. (I will have 25000 characters to sum the man up). And it seems a bit strange to me that a short, good biography of the man is so hard to find.
 
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#16
Yes, that is true, but it is also true that a writer/historian must be able to make choices about what is important to say or not. (I will have 25000 characters to sum the man up). And it seems a bit strange to me that a short, good biography of the man is so hard to find.
Such a book is hard to find because a short biography is unlikely to be a good biography of Lee.
 
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Kahului, Maui
#17
I have been commissioned to write a "long" (25000 characters) article on Robert E Lee for a magazine. I'm not an expert on Lee, and need to do some reading. For depth I will read Kordas book Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee. Korda and I seems to be roughly on the same page in our assessment of Lees character and generalship, so his book will do fine.

However, it is big beast of a book and in addition I would like to read something shorter and more to the point. Is there a good biography on Lee that is 250 pages long or less? "Good" to me equals based on original sources (not others writing) and balanced (making niether a saint nor a buffoon out of the man). It's fine if the book covers just the Civil War period of his life.

I could also use a good book on Lees generalship. I presume there are dozens of them out there, so which one if I'm only to read one?
In my opinion, the best recent scholarship on Lee's generalship during the war is Scott Bowden's work. His new "Robert E. Lee at War" multi-volume series is well-researched and written, and contains much orginial analysis. I really liked the first volume in this series and from what I understand, the second volume is due out this summer. If you are looking for something shorter than a multi-volume work, then Scott's earlier work Last Chance for Victory contains an excellent chapter dealing with Lee's art of war with analysis not offered elsewhere.
 
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#18
Such a book is hard to find because a short biography is unlikely to be a good biography of Lee.
I disagree. "Good" have different critera for different lengths. A one page summary of Lee's life can be good or bad; a one-thousande pages biography can be good or bad. Writing short is harder, in one sense, as it requires economy of words and choice of perspective,whilst writing long demands more knowledge. Korda is long, but also a bit rambling, which is always a danger with an ample page-count.

And I have submitted my "long" biography of Lee now, btw, all 25000 characters of it. The editor thought it was - good ;-)

In my opinion, the best recent scholarship on Lee's generalship during the war is Scott Bowden's work. His new "Robert E. Lee at War" multi-volume series is well-researched and written, and contains much orginial analysis. I really liked the first volume in this series and from what I understand, the second volume is due out this summer. If you are looking for something shorter than a multi-volume work, then Scott's earlier work Last Chance for Victory contains an excellent chapter dealing with Lee's art of war with analysis not offered elsewhere.
Thanks, but I'm a bit sceptical about Bowden, I have read a pretty bad book from his pen, very biased. What about Crucible of Command?

I've found a book about Grant and Lee by none other than JFC Fuller, I've just leafed it through but it seems to be very interesting. I may have to read it, though I suppose it might be a bit dated. Has anyone read it?
 

Jimklag

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#20
I have been commissioned to write a "long" (25000 characters) article on Robert E Lee for a magazine. I'm not an expert on Lee, and need to do some reading. For depth I will read Kordas book Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee. Korda and I seems to be roughly on the same page in our assessment of Lees character and generalship, so his book will do fine.

However, it is big beast of a book and in addition I would like to read something shorter and more to the point. Is there a good biography on Lee that is 250 pages long or less? "Good" to me equals based on original sources (not others writing) and balanced (making niether a saint nor a buffoon out of the man). It's fine if the book covers just the Civil War period of his life.

I could also use a good book on Lees generalship. I presume there are dozens of them out there, so which one if I'm only to read one?
Would recommend this. It is less than 300 pages.
61R+0vozC4L._AC_UL320_SR190,320_.jpg
 



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