I interviewed H. W. Crocker concerning his book Robert E. Lee onLeadership: Lessons in Character, Courage, and Vision.
It's a very readable, enjoyable review of the Civil War, with a view towards the elements that made him a successful leader of men.
One quote from the book was interesting for me:
"Lee was a firm believer in the basic Christian tenets, in particular the Christian doctrine of Original Sin. It was a—even the—salient point of his character. If he was resolute and confident, if he was never crushed by setbacks or interested in assigning blame for failure, it was because of this. He expected men to fail, because, by nature, men usually did. He knew the challenge of leadership was to understand the fallen nature of man and succeed in spite of it. So far did he believe this—and so far did he feel it was important to understand this reality—that he discouraged his children from reading fiction. In a letter to his wife, he wrote: “Let him [his son Rooney] never touch a novel. They print beauty more charming than nature, and describe happiness that never exists. They will teach him to sigh after that which has no reality, to despise the little good that is granted us in this world and to expect more than is given.”
"Do not dream. It is too ideal, too imaginary. Dreaming by day, I mean. Live in the world you inhabit. Look upon things as they are. Take them as you find them. Make the best of them. Turn them to your advantage.”"
I enjoyed the interview, and I hope you will too.
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