90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
‘Clouds Of Glory’ And Robert E. Lee

Celebrated biographer Michael Korda brings us a deep new look at General Robert E. Lee.

Robert E. Lee, pictured here in 1863. (Heritage Auction Archives)

Robert E. Lee, pictured here in 1863. (Heritage Auction Archives)

This week marks the 150th anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac from the nation’s capital.  The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and so many American soldiers’ remains famously rest on land that was the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  It’s fitting somehow.  Lee led the armies that would have divided the Union.  And yet in his personal nobility he became a point of reconciliation.  Symbolic martyr-hero of the Southern cause, and American icon.  A new biography brings us the southern general – and his complexity – once more.  This hour On Point:  Robert E. Lee.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Michael Korda, writer, biographer and novelist. Author of the new book “Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee.” Also author of “Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero” and “Ike: An American Hero.”

Gary Gallagher, professor of history at the University of Virginia. Author of “Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty,” “The Union War,” “Lee and His Army in Confederate History,” Lee and His Generals in War and Memory” and “The Confederate War.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Christian Science Monitor: Clouds of Glory — “In many ways, the gentlemanly and intensely patriotic Robert E. Lee was an unlikely champion of the Confederacy. He found the notion of secession ‘silly’ and dangerous, while fervently hoping that the union could be saved short of a war that he correctly believed would prove ruinous. Although he owned several slaves and in 1857 inherited dozens more from his father-in-law, he was not fond of the institution and was committed to freeing his human property in good time – which he did in 1862, beating Lincoln to the punch. Later, when the war was going badly for the South, he urged, in vain, that slaves be given the opportunity to fight for their freedom, in the Confederate States Army.”

Publishers Weekly: Books of the Week — “In this exhaustive study, Korda examines the life of Robert E. Lee from start to finish, illuminating not just the man, but his extended family and the society which produced him. While Korda’s treatment verges on hero worship, he explores Lee’s qualities and contradictions thoroughly, approaching him first and foremost as a state patriot, loyal to Virginia before any other cause.”

Inside Higher Ed: Debate Over Robert E. Lee at Washington And Lee U. — “Black law students at Washington and Lee University, under a new group called ‘The Committee,’ have asked Washington and Lee University to take a series of steps to address ‘the racist and dishonorable conduct of Robert E. Lee.’ Lee served as president of the university after the Civil War, and has historically been revered at the institution. ”

Read An Excerpt From “Clouds of Glory” By Michael Korda

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 28, 2014
Kaname Hayashi, a project leader of Humanoid Robots "Pepper," talks with the robot at SoftBank Mobile shop in Tokyo, Friday, June 6, 2014. The cooing, gesturing humanoid on wheels that can decipher emotions has been unveiled in Japan by billionaire Masayoshi Son who says robots should be tender and make people smile. (AP)

Robot love, robot work, “killer robots” – we get the latest on robots moving deeper into life.

Nov 28, 2014
Poet Malcolm London. (Courtesy Malcolm London)

From Chicago, a young, new poet gives voice to one of America’s great cities, and its tough streets. Malcolm London joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 27, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

 
Nov 27, 2014
On Point host Tom Ashbrook raises a toast with a glass of fresh apple cider in the On Point studios. (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

All about hard cider. It’s all over these days. And sweet, fresh apple cider, too. We’ll look at the history and comeback.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Last-Minute Thanksgiving Luxury
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Our three Thanksgiving chefs offer up their best bets for delicious, last-minute holiday helpers, including a crunchy celery salad and maple glazed carrots.

More »
Comment
 
Calling All Interns, Calling All Interns
Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Have you ever thought about interning with On Point Radio? Good news: your time is now!

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
1 Comment