After his recent Unconditional Surrender: Ulysses S. Grant and the Civil War (1993), Martin returns with it's companion volume about that other great Civil War general, Robert E. Lee. The two men couldn't have been more different. Grant was a slovenly alcoholic who was only successful in warfare; Lee, on the other hand, was perfection -- at least he was to hear Marrin talk about him. But Marrin's adulation is excusable. Lee was truly an extraordinary man: outstanding in school, at the top of his class in West Point, a brave and cunning soldier. Lee also became one of the most brilliant generals America has ever known. With a small and pitifully undersupplied army, he ran rings around the stronger North until, his supply lines cut, he ran out of troops and provisions. Martin describes Lee's decisive battles clearly and with excitement. Lee was also beloved by his men and respected by all, a loving husband and father. Martin shows Lee to be a Southern gentleman in the finest tradition. Comprehensive and coherent, a superb history.