Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Lee: A Life of Virtue by John Perry
I have to admit that I chose the Lee biography because we share a birthday. I grew up in the South, and Lee's birthday was on our calendars along with Franklin, Lincoln, Washington, and other national figures. I had never read a biography, although I had heard plenty about Lee growing up. I knew that he was a Virginian and a career military man. I also knew that he married a descendant of George Washington's adopted son and that the property where Arlington National Cemetery sits was his home before the war. I recalled that he was conflicted about fighting against the U.S. Army, but that he chose to serve his native state of Virginia after the state seceded from the Union.
This biography enlightened me on Lee's early life and his sense of honor and duty. Because his father abandoned the family, he took on extraordinary responsibilities as a child. Through growing-up years, he took care of his invalid mother and managed the family finances. He went to West Point and became an army engineer. After his marriage, he pursued a military career and distinguished himself as a principled leader.He was a family man, although his career kept him away from them for extended periods.
The author managed to inform me without boring me. It isn't exactly light reading, but the chapters are of manageable length and are well organized. He described the military campaigns in a clear-but-not-too-detailed manner. I highly recommend the book as an eye-opening portrait of an honorable man who has sometimes been demonized simply because he was the leader of the "rebel" army.
Check out the book on Amazon: Lee: A Life of Virtue (The Generals).
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."