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  • Robert E. Lee and Me

  • A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause
  • By: Ty Seidule
  • Narrated by: Ty Seidule
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

"The narrator’s skill as an educator is evident in this production. Seidule's varied tone and pace keep listeners engaged while he describes historical events in detail." (Booklist)

This program is read by the author.

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 US 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.      

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

"Perhaps the best attribute of this fine book is the author’s honesty. It’s difficult to imagine a more timely book than Robert E. Lee and Me. At this pivotal moment, when we are debating some of the most painful aspects of our history, Seidule’s unsparing assessment of the Lost Cause provides an indispensable contribution to the discussion." (Washington Post)

"In this fine book Ty Seidule scorches us with the truth and rivets us with his fierce sense of moral urgency. I can't think of a better book to enrich and invigorate our national discussion about race and memory and the troubled legacy of Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy." (New York Times bestselling author of Alexander Hamilton)

"A beautiful, often searing meditation on race, history, and the American narrative. Evocative and provocative, Robert E. Lee and Me is honest, wry, and utterly engaging." (Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The British are Coming)

©2021 Ty Seidule (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Robert E. Lee and Me

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  • Matt Poe
  • 01-02-2021

Changing a heart and mind

Loved it. It's a great example of how change can happen. Unfortunately you will notice in the ratings that so many have chosen not to change and it just exemplifies how far this country needs to go. (Edit) I see Audible went in and removed all the snarky, spiteful 1 star votes that were listed when I first posted my review. Well done.

I can't wait for the Army to start changing the base names. One more step forward. It's absolutely the right thing to do. LTC (Ret.)

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  • Nice guy
  • 17-02-2021

One Officer to Another - Service Clarified

This is one well needed book. It is a story about how our own service was colored by the stigma of racism. I appreciate a historians view of how the Civil War myths have set the stage for the last 100 years of our country's history and more how it shaped the American Army. If you want to understand the reasons for changing names of military installations, if you want to confront our deep understanding of slavery, and if you want to understand how we can work to make it better listen to this book. I found myself saying yes I understand (have lived it) throughout the book, especially when the author said that a logistic's officer should be the next Army chief of staff "and she will straighten it all out". Thanks. Another LTC (Ret.)

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  • Tinkerbaby
  • 15-02-2021

Required reading by every American

This book must be very widely distributed.
Like so many Americans I had been taken in by the Hollywood version of the Nobel south.
Robert E Lee was a traitor, and this book lays out succinctly the argument that the South should let go of the myths and move into the future.
The insurrection of January 6th can be laid squarely on the continued spread of white supremacy, and reading this book goes a long way in explaining the reasons for it.

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  • Matt Personal
  • 15-03-2021

A good read

This book makes you question everything no matter how much of a scholar you consider yourself of the war. I also own the Hardback book. The nice thing about the book is it cites all his research by chapter. It gives you a good place to go look up your own information.

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  • Betsy Rodriguez
  • 07-02-2021

Courageous & Genuine

An important book about Cofederacy history, and how the lingering attitudes of denial have maintained and sometimes promote the seditious, treasonous cause as noble and just. The author has the courage of inserting his own southern gentleman experience to acknowledge how deceived his own beliefs and values have been when validated against the actual facts of history. This book should become a curriculum book in all higher learning institutions and military academies.

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  • Anita Hunt
  • 04-02-2021

Lose the "Lost Cause."

As a retired public school principal, former history teacher, college instructor and social studies curriculum advisor, finding a crack in the Lost Cause Myth to bring forward to students, faculty and those who develop education policy has been difficult. In this book, Ty has used one the most effective strategies in education, the telling of a story, a true story to shatter the myth. Thank you Ty for doing it. It is a shame that it required your retirement from the Army to do so. Be assured my voice, however small these days, will shout the praises of this book to my current and former colleagues.
Well done, sir.
Jim Hunt, MAed
Cadillac, Michigan

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  • M. Kern
  • 03-02-2021

Brilliant. Should be required reading at W&L and elsewhere

A brilliant, thoughtful, well written and narrated reckoning of the lost cause mythology. As a southern native and alum of Washington and Lee, this book made me think in new ways about my roots and culture. It teaches about about some amazing black Americans and lays bare the horrific racial oppression and white washing practiced for centuries. This should be required reading in southern schools - especially Washington and Lee.

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  • Daniel Munier
  • 29-04-2021

Waste of time

Thought this book would be a critical look at the Civil War from the Union’s perspective. Instead the author spends little time on the Civil War other than criticizing the South and spends most of the time talking about himself and going on a 10 hour apology rant for being racist until he became woke.

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  • JAMES W GOODWIN
  • 18-02-2021

Robert E Lee and Me book

Great hearing Ty’s point of view points brought up are spot on as a white Southerner I have a hard time with my and other peoples knowledge of what is covered in this book. Every Southerner should read this just to hear this side of things.

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  • D. Jack Dunn
  • 04-02-2021

Eye opening!

A well-written and concise and vividly honest description of hidden white supremacy in southern history.

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  • HEB
  • 15-03-2021

Fascinating and often shocking

A brilliant history book and personal account. I was so inspired that I emailed the author to thank him.

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