Lee's story told again, this time by a novelist and a newsman, follows the course of his conscience and loyalty to Virginia, and of the battles that made him more loved in defeat than perhaps any general the world has known. Sketching Lee's background and boyhood, Carter indicates the network of feelings that were later to make him reject the offer to command the Union forces. All through youth, through West Point and the first years of Army duty, there is the sense of Lee's development as a disciplined man, intelligent and respected and perhaps above all, a liberal who had freed his own slaves. Yet it was the very discipline and loyalty that kept him from turning against his own state. A straightforward and efficient narrative, this gains from Carter's experience as a writer.