By Michael Korda
New York Times bestselling writer Michael Korda's clean, modern unmarried quantity old biography of normal Robert E. Lee—perhaps the main recognized and least understood legend in American historical past and one in all our so much fashionable heroes.
Michael Korda, writer of Ulysses S. Grant and the bestsellers Ike and Hero, paints a vibrant and admiring portrait of Lee as a super basic, a faithful family members guy, and principled gentleman who disliked slavery and disagreed with secession, but who refused command of the Union military in 1861 simply because he couldn't "draw his sword" opposed to his cherished Virginia.
Well-rounded and practical, Clouds of Glory analyzes Lee's command throughout the Civil battle and explores his accountability for the deadly stalemate at Antietam, his defeat at Gettysburg (as good the various troubling controversies nonetheless surrounding it) and eventually, his failed process for profitable the conflict. As Korda indicates, Lee's dignity, braveness, management, and modesty made him a hero on each side of the Mason-Dixon Line and a respected American icon who's famous this day because the nation's preeminent army leader.
Clouds of Glory positive factors dozens of lovely illustrations, a few by no means ahead of visible, together with twelve pages of colour, twenty-four pages of black-and-white, and approximately fifty in-text conflict maps.
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Extra info for Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee
To paraphrase furnish, not anyone ever fought “so lengthy and so valiantly . . . for a cause”* as Lee—and for one within which he didn't absolutely think. In that experience he was once certainly a martyr to his reason. Lee not just bore this burden uncomplainingly; he struggled mightily all through his existence to remind himself of his personal imperfections and shortcomings—he may have had no use of the slave whose activity it was once to face beside a triumphant Roman basic in his chariot and whisper into his ear in the course of his triumph: Sic transit gloria mundi. Lee’s trouble with behaving in a gentlemanly strategy to all people, despite rank; his dislike of open confrontations; and his instinctive tact, which by no means abandoned him, even in moments of challenge, made him nearly universally trendy, yet now not constantly a good commander. He labored top with those that may bet what he sought after them to do with out being instructed, and for whom even the slightest frown of displeasure or the faint flush on Lee’s cheeks that signified he used to be suppressing his anger was once well-known immediately as a rebuke. He should be tough—when the brash younger Union cavalry commander George A. Custer proposed to execute accomplice prisoners Lee easily ordered Union prisoner be hanged for each accomplice who used to be completed. † He additionally had no hesitation in having his personal squaddies accomplished for disobeying his order to appreciate enemy estate, or for desertion. yet he by no means used harsh phrases, and he went to nice lengths to prevent an indignant “scene,” lots in order that his aides have been charged with protecting those that could level one clear of Lee. this isn't to signify that Lee was once excellent, yet he aimed toward perfection invariably, even less than severe provocation. He felt anger, definitely, and those that have been on the subject of him famous the indications: “No man,” his aide Colonel Venable wrote, “could see the flush come over that grand brow and the temple veins swell on events of significant trial of persistence and doubt that Lee had the robust, excessive mood of a Washington. ” He set himself to manage it, besides the fact that, at no matter what fee to himself. His generosity of spirit, undiminished via ideological or political transformations, or even by way of the divisive, bloody Civil warfare, shines via in each letter he writes, and in each dialog of his that was once mentioned or remembered. His willingness to tackle projects that didn't promise a lot within the manner of a present and his sturdy nature have been either sorely attempted through his go back domestic in the summertime of 1848. It was once something to put in writing lengthy letters of recommendation from Mexico to Mary and the older kids, and really one other to renew the position of paterfamilias and husband less than an analogous roof. “Lee not just enjoyed his young children, yet loved them” is a truly real remark, yet he used to be additionally a tireless fount of recommendation and spiritual exhortation who, not less than in writing, sounds to the fashionable ear just like a latter-day Polonius, a failing that Lee himself famous and sometimes made enjoyable of: “You see i'm following my outdated behavior of giving suggestion, which I daresay you neither desire nor require,” he wrote to at least one of his sons, after which went directly to upload in self-justification, “But you need to pardon a fault which proceeds from my nice love and burning nervousness on your welfare and happiness.