Iconic Virginian, brilliant general, and complex human being---that last aspect of Robert E. Lee has daunted biographers and been disregarded by partisans. Now Roy Blount Jr. combines acute character insight with lively storytelling and full-hearted Southern directness to craft this unique portrait. Fascinated by what made Lee such a charismatic, though reluctant, leader, Blount delves into the influences of Lee's illustrious but scandal-clouded ancestry, his hero-turned-scapegrace father, and his beloved, beautiful, husband-forsaken mother. In 1861 Lee was Lincoln's first choice to lead the Union troops, but his Virginia roots drew him, instead, to Confederate command. Blount vividly conveys Lee's audacity and uncanny successes in battle, and also his humility, his quirky humor (certain jokes in particular), his faults as a communicator, and his sorrowful sense of responsibility for his outnumbered, half-starved army. Robert E. Lee, the first brief biography of this American legend, will appeal to history and military buffs, students of Southern culture, and every reader curious about the makeup of a man born to be a myth.