Out of the three books I have reviewed from the Thomas Nelson company, Lee, a Life of Virtue by John Perry, is the first one I consider a “keeper.” Though it can be enjoyed by a serious researcher, this book is not designed for heavy in-depth study. There are no footnotes in the book and comparatively few direct quotes. It is an easy read, plenty to learn for those who know little about General Lee, yet not boring to someone who has read a fair amount about him.
As the title “A Life of Virtue” suggests, this book emphasizes Lee’s noble motives in life and his one compelling force - duty. From caring for his invalid mother in youth, to resigning from the US military and fighting for the Confederacy, to saying “it is our duty to live” at a time when death would have been more welcome, Mr. Perry keeps before the reader how Robert E. Lee did what he believed to be his duty despite what personal deprivations it cost him.
The final chapter closes with part of a letter General Lee’s wife wrote on the day of his death, “. . .I pray that his noble example may stimulate our youth to a course of uprightness which never wavered from the path of duty at any sacrifice or ease or pleasure, & so long too has the will of God been the guiding star of his actions. . .”