Robert E. Lee: A Life

Dec 2, 2021, 4:30 pm6:30 pm
James Stewart Film Theater 185 Nassau St


Event Description

Allen C. Guelzo, Director of the James Madison Program Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship and Senior Research Scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University; James M. McPherson, George Henry David '86 Professor Emeritus of History, Princeton University

Join us for an in person event with award-winning Civil War historian Allen Guelzo about his new book, Robert E. Lee: A LifeThe New York Times praised the book as “A deeply researched character study…Guelzo’s fine biography is an important contribution to reconciling the myths with the facts.”

Robert E. Lee is one of the most confounding figures in American history. Lee betrayed his nation in order to defend his home state and uphold the slave system he claimed to oppose. He was a traitor to the country he swore to serve as an Army officer, and yet he was admired even by his enemies for his composure and leadership. He considered slavery immoral, but benefited from inherited slaves and fought to defend the institution. Award-winning historian Allen C. Guelzo has written the definitive biography of the general, capturing Lee in all his complexity—his hypocrisy and courage, his outward calm and inner turmoil, his honor and his disloyalty. 

An America's Founding Future event, part of the James Madison Program Initiative in Politics and Statesmanship. 

Allen C. Guelzo is Director of the Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship in the James Madison Program and Senior Research Scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University. His award-winning books include Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (1999), Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (2004), and Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (2013). He has been awarded the Bradley Prize, the Lincoln Medal of the Union League Club of New York City, and the James Q. Wilson Award for Distinguished Scholarship on the Nature of a Free Society. Together with Patrick Allitt and Gary W. Gallagher, he team-taught the Teaching Company’s American History series, as well as courses on Abraham Lincoln (Mr. Lincoln, 2005) on American intellectual history (The American Mind, 2006), the American Revolution (2007), and the Founders (America’s Founding Fathers, 2017). From 2006 to 2013, he served as a member of the National Council on the Humanities. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

James M. McPherson is the George Henry David '86 Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University. Professor McPherson has published numerous volumes on the Civil War, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, Crossroads of Freedom, Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, and For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, which won the Lincoln Prize. He was the NEH Jefferson Lecturer in 2000 and has served as president of the Society of American Historians (1998-2000) and president of the American Historical Association (2003-04). He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University. 



Lecture Series
James Madison Program Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship