Friday, September 15, 2023

On Robert E Lee

  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. 

Your American Heritage 8 26 2023

I will eventually delete any comment not germane to the post, at my discretion.
This is my blog. Want to spout stupidity? Get your own.


  1. Well I see, after I emailed you, I can get back on comments. So here's the one I emailed:

    Interesting. Read a lot about both Lees - Robert E and his father Lighthorse Harry. He was a astonishing man. Fighting for the south at the same time as setting up an illegal school to educate slaves he was in the process of freeing. Didn't happen fast enough? Well, he did not OWN them. He inherited them along with all the debt for which they were collateral, as your writer mentions. So he was busy with intense estate activity to clear the debts so the slaves could be freed. While leading the army. Not a person calling to remove his statutes can hold a candle to him.

    Good point about better behavior between north and south soldiers than from the Left today. Equally good point about mercy as a Christian value in contrast to the merciless left. They leave no room for grace. I did not read Gone With the Wind, btw. Saw the movie (hated it - am I the only woman who has ever written that?).

    They all had a stronger attachment to state I think. Someone pointed out before the civil war people spoke of the United States ARE, a collection of governances. After they said the United States IS, a whole thing. What was lost at Appommatox? A check on federal power. Good one Lord Acton. I have thought the same.


    1. This guy was really fascinating to talk to and I learned a lot from his book and the interview.
      He's just come out with another book I find a little difficult to embrace. :)