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“Robert E. Lee’s hard to deal with’…but in this little gem of a book Blount has done it about as imaginatively, about as memorably, and about as well as anyone has done—southerner or not, and historian or not—in years.”

J. Tracy Power, historian at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History

“This vibrant introduction goes a long way toward softening the image of that stony icon of the Confederacy, Robert E. Lee. Blount bravely reckons with the Marble Man, consulting works that draw out Lee’s ‘feminine side’ to humanize his portrait….Blount’s handling of Lee’s lonely childhood is surprisingly moving…. Blount’s is the only writing on Lee this reviewer has encountered that makes one feel real sympathy for the general—a feeling the author smartly keeps from bleeding over into affection for any Lost Cause ideology.”

Library Journal

“This outstanding volume is the latest entry in the Penguin Lives series, which allows distinguished authors to select a person about whom they are curious and then write a short, synthetic account that will inform the general reader and specialist alike. Blount’s graceful narrative reflects the author’s wide reading of and mature reflection on the standard biographies of Lee. The result is a miniature masterpiece.”


“Witty, lively and wholly fascinating.”

New York Times Book Review

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