Review of John Perry’s biography of Robert E Lee: A Life of Virtue

Confederate General Robert E. Lee poses in a l...
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“…humility was the key to Lee’s leadership ability. Men worked harder for him out of respect and admiration than they ever would have out of obligation or fear, or even self-preservation.” So concludes John Perry in a new assessment of one of America’s most beloved, and, as Perry points out, misunderstood generals, Robert E Lee

Part of Thomas Nelson’s new series The Generals, edited by Stephen Mansfield, Perry’s biography of the leading Southern general of the American Civil War, is a good introduction to the life and times of Lee. Well written, this tome, gives a light but solid overview of Lee’s life.

It is not a comprehensive and political assessment of Lee and his views on life, war, and politics. Nor is it a strong analysis of Lee and his work as general. Perry does point out that Lee did not care for or like slavery and that it was states’ rights and love of Virginia first that caused him to resign his US Army commission. And Perry also provides a proper and helpful understanding of the challenges Lee faced as a Confederate commander who dealt with chronic (and later overwhelming) shortages of men and material in doing battle against superior Union numbers and support. This is a biography that focuses on Lee’s character, his faith, and his love for his family.

I appreciated this book because it gave me an introductory understanding of a man that I have always known about through my love of American History but knew very, very little of. I recommend it as a great way to learn more about this legendary American military leader and man.

(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program called Book Sneeze (  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.”)


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