Monday, August 14, 2017

Book of the Day: the man all the fuss is about.


In light of current events and current debates of the subject’s views and record, Henry Bemis is pleased to offer this classic American biography:

Douglas Southall Freeman, R.E. Lee: A Biography (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1934-35; reissued, 1962). ISBN 684-10180-7. Pulitzer Prize Winner; still an outstanding work in an age when nobody writes on this scale anymore. Even less appreciated is the gargantuan output and influence of Douglas Southall Freeman, of which the Lee biography is but a part.

Four volumes, hardcover, price clipped dust jackets, very good condition. Octavo, 646 pp (I); 621 pp (II); 569 pp (III); 619 pp (IV). HBB price $100 obo.

A Ph.D. in history at Johns Hopkins, Lee joined the Richmond Times-Dispatch at 20 and became editor of the Richmond News-Leader at 29. He held the post for the next 34 years. During that run he produced an estimated 600,000 words a year of newspaper copy; did two radio commentary programs a day; taught at the Army War College for seven years; commuted- by air, weekly- to New York to teach at the Columbia School of Journalism; made a national reputation as a military analyst in World Wars I and II; and wrote fifteen books.

Among his books were his four volume R.E. Lee: A Biography (1934-35), which won the Pulitzer Prize and still stands as the authoritative life. He took up the biography of George Washington, publishing the first of seven volumes in 1942. The last, published in 1957 from his notes, won him his second Pulitzer.

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