Reading the Man

By Elizabeth Brown Pryor,

Book cover of Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters

Book description

"Pryor's biography helps part with a lot of stupid out there about Lee - chiefly, that he was, somehow, 'anti-slavery.'" - Ta-Nehisi Coates, theatlantic.com

An "unorthodox, critical, and engaging biography" (Boston Globe) - Winner of The Lincoln Prize

Robert E. Lee is remembered by history as a tragic figure, stoic…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Reading the Man as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Pryor’s work has become essential for scholars of Robert E. Lee. She had access to numerous unpublished documents from Lee’s descendants, and used this invaluable material to provide a more complete and realistic portrait of the man. In one chapter, she explores Lee’s complex attitudes toward slavery. She writes, “He embraced the legal and economic aspects of the master-slave system without really grasping its complex underlying relationships.” The Lost Cause notion that Lee opposed slavery is not supported by the evidence. Pryor provides new insights on his decision to resign from the army in 1861, and offers a detailed account…

From John's list on understanding Robert E. Lee.

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