Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause

Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause

In a forceful but humane narrative, former soldier and head of the West Point history department Ty Seidule's Robert E. Lee and Me challenges the myths and lies of the Confederate legacy—and explores why some of this country’s oldest wounds have never healed.

Ty Seidule grew up revering Robert E. Lee. From his southern childhood to his service in the U.S. Army, every part of his life reinforced the Lost Cause myth: that Lee was the greatest man who ever lived, and that the Confederates were underdogs who lost the Civil War with honor. Now, as a retired brigadier general and Professor Emeritus of History at West Point, his view has radically changed. From a soldier, a scholar, and a southerner, Ty Seidule believes that American history demands a reckoning.

In a unique blend of history and reflection, Seidule deconstructs the truth about the Confederacy—that its undisputed primary goal was the subjugation and enslavement of Black Americans—and directly challenges the idea of honoring those who labored to preserve that system and committed treason in their failed attempt to achieve it. Through the arc of Seidule’s own life, as well as the culture that formed him, he seeks a path to understanding why the facts of the Civil War have remained buried beneath layers of myth and even outright lies—and how they embody a cultural gulf that separates millions of Americans to this day.

Part history lecture, part meditation on the Civil War and its fallout, and part memoir, Robert E. Lee and Me challenges the deeply-held legends and myths of the Confederacy—and provides a surprising interpretation of essential truths that our country still has a difficult time articulating and accepting.

Title:Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781250239266
Format Type:

    Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause Reviews

  • Raymond

    Imagine finding out everything you learned growing up was a lie, that the historical figure that you revered as a god and even ranked them higher than Jesus was actually a traitor to his country. Imag...

  • Faith

    “The white southern myths created my identity. The problem is that the myths I learned were just flat-out, fundamentally wrong. ....The myths and lies I learned promoted a form of racial hierarchy a...

  • Donald Powell

    A book offering hope for some enlightenment. The author, with deep humility and contrition, starts with his veneration of Robert E. Lee as a child and young man. He becomes a PhD professor of history ...

  • Steven Z.

    On January 6, 2021, the US Capitol was marred by an invasion of a mixture of Trumpists, military militias, white supremacists, and a collection of other conspiracy toting insurrectionists. What was ve...

  • Athena (OneReadingNurse)

    There is no possible way to bring my blog review over to GoodReads due to the photos, quotes, video links, and more.... So I will leave this here along with my brief takeaways. Hours of work and i am ...

  • Joseph

    A much needed, brutally honest look at the Marble Man and Confederate iconography. The author takes us through his life living in the shadow of Robert E. Lee. Along the way we confront many unpleasant...

  • Rock

    Just to note- In Lee’s era there was much more loyalty to one’s state than exists generally today. Therefore, Lee’s choice to remain loyal to Virginia isn’t as radical then as now.As anyone sh...

  • Emily

    If Robert E. Lee takes precedence over Jesus in the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee College, how can that be justified? The justification is over a century of misinformation, outright lies, and massa...

  • Carol Townsend

    Finally last night opened up this book!. Oh My Goodness, what a fantastic read. My first 'real' history book. I just love it. This book is really going to be a hit. Great author, smooth reading....

  • La Crosse County Library

    I saw the author on CBS Sunday Morning. It was intriguing how it all came about. He grew up and was educated as a "Southern gentleman" but eventually discovered how wrong the whole "Lost Cause of the ...