The Enduring Relevance of Robert E. Lee

The Enduring Relevance of Robert E. Lee : The Ideological Warfare Underpinning the American Civil War

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While many people believed that the Confederate States of America was doomed to failure from the start because it was essentially an impracticable theory, Robert E. Lee claimed it was not the government but the leaders that failed. In The Enduring Relevance of Robert E. Lee Marshall L. DeRosa uses the American Civil War and the figure of Robert E. Lee to consider the role of political leadership under extremely difficult circumstances and the proper response to those circumstances. DeRosa examines Lee as a politician rather than just a military leader and finds that many of Lee's assertions are still relevant today.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 160.02 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 294.83g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739187872
  • 9780739187876

About Marshall L. DeRosa

Marshall L. DeRosa is professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University.
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Review quote

This book deserves a careful read to extract the enduring elements of leadership in a lost cause that should not be lost from our historical understanding. On Point: The Journal of Army History In opposition to the prevailing, ideologically-driven attempt among scholars to depict Robert E. Lee as a contradictory, problematic, or unfathomable military commander and statesman, DeRosa's The Enduring Relevance of Robert E. Lee allows the thoughtful reader to encounter the authentic genius of Lee the American patriot who sought to perpetuate 'the General patrimony of the founding generation' amidst tremendous social and political tensions. DeRosa also corrects a litany of misinterpretations of Lee from a variety of perspectives while affirming the prophetic vision of Lee as political thinker who warned of the creation of a "vast republic" that would be 'aggressive abroad and despotic at home.' This book fills a critical lacuna in current scholarship. -- H. Lee Cheek Jr., East Georgia State College Not long ago Robert E. Lee stood high in the pantheon of American heroes. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and a host of others eloquently testified to Lee's exemplary character as well as his greatness as a soldier. The ongoing trivialization of American history into nothing more than a morality play about slavery has led the great man to fall from glory. Professor DeRosa persuasively argues that this is a mistake, that Lee remains vital because he symbolizes an alternative idea of American society and government to the present regime. Along the way we learn that Lee, along with his other qualities, was a very wise man with a deep conception of history-unlike most American leaders of his time or ours. -- Clyde N. Wilson, University of South Carolina After the war, Lee said the Union victory meant the central government would become progressively tyrannical at home and aggressive abroad. Marshall DeRosa's book explains what Lee meant by this, and why an understanding of his character and career is necessary if Americans are ever to recover the liberty he fought to preserve. -- Donald Livingston, Emory University
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Table of contents

Introduction Chapter I: Defense of Traditional American Principles Chapter II: Confederate Constitutional Principles Chapter III: Political Obligation in a Federal Republic Chapter IV: The Discerning Christian Chapter V: Lee's Two-front War Chapter VI: Lee under Hostile Political Fire Conclusion
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