The Court Martial of Robert E. Lee

Douglas Savage, Author, James G. Savage, Author
Douglas Savage, Author, James G. Savage, Author Da Capo Press $24.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-938289-26-5
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-446-67056-2
Paperback - 475 pages - 978-1-58979-939-4
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-58979-940-0
Open Ebook - 478 pages - 978-1-306-66279-6
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Postulating a Confederate Congressional inquiry into General Lee's decision-making at Gettysburg, this historical novel by the author of The Glass Lady examines, primarily from the Rebel perspective, the battlefield bloodbath in Pennsylvania as well as the important encounters that preceded it. While Savage doesn't reveal any new material here, his text does attempt to revise the discredited reputation of James Longstreet, traditionally blamed for the disastrous Pickett's Charge. Since Lee's exoneration is a foregone conclusion, the novel's drama lies in the recounting of battles and of the general's inner turmoil. This is all very familiar ground: litanies of families riven by war and casualty counts become tedious rather than shocking, a quality that is reinforced by the author's tendency to repeat himself. A good deal of the dialogue is authentic, drawn from letters of the period, but placing it in a new context accentuates the difference between the written and spoken word; the characters sound overly formal and stilted. Only the most dedicated Civil War buffs and fans of the historical novel will find this work appealing. Maps. History Book Club main selection ; BOMC alternate; paperback rights to Warner. (Nov.)
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