Clouds of Glory is a fresh contemporary account of Robert E. Lee, combining, as Michael Korda did with Eisenhower, his personal life and his military career in a single volume. The book paints a vivid and admiring portrait of Lee as a general, a devoted family man, and one who, though he disliked slavery and was not in favor of secession, turned down command of the Union army in 1861 because he could not "draw his sword" against his own children, his neighbors and his beloved Virginia. Truly a great American, even in rebellion (and as admired in the North as in the South), Lee is surely America's preeminent military leader-as calm, dignified and commanding a presence in defeat as he was in victory. "A man for all seasons" in every sense of the phrase. A well-rounded and realistic biography, written for the modern reader, Clouds of Glory confronts, among other things, Lee's responsibility for the fatal stalemate at Antietam, his defeat at Gettysburg (and the many controversies surrounding it, still roiling the waters of Civil War history today), and the larger issues of Lee's unsuccessful strategy for winning the war. Lee's dignity, courage, skill as a general, appearance, grave courtesy and innate modesty made him a hero on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line even during his own lifetime, and his reputation has only grown and solidified in the past century and a half. There is, in short, a Robert E. Lee cult, going far beyond the Confederate Battle Flag bumper sticker crowd, that is almost as powerful as the one erected around George Washington. Lee is a respected, indeed revered, national institution, a feat which he managed to accomplish in less than three years, while fighting and after winning against his own country-surely a unique accomplishment.