Robert E. Lee: Conflicted Confederate


Elizabeth Brown Pryor historian, author, and diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service  will speak on Robert E. Lee: Conflicted Confederate. This program will examine the fascinating background of Lee, a top West Point graduate, friend and comrade to the majority of Northern military generals as he wrestled with the conflict of his allegiance to the United States and to his beloved State of Virginia.  His story, with his home becoming the site of Arlington National Cemetery, seems to be the ultimate example of how the War Between the States truly divided the country.  Her book,  Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters will be available for purchase and signing.  Registration is strongly recommended, as space is limited.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor has successfully pursued two careers, one as an award-winning historian and the other as a senior diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. The experiences have been mutually reinforcing. Her personal role at such pivotal events as the overthrow of apartheid in South Africa, and the 1991-1995 war in Bosnia, honed her understanding of history as it is made, while her analysis and historical perspective helped put her on the front lines of American diplomacy.  She is the author of Clara Barton, Professional Angel and Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee through His Private Letters. The latter won the 2008 Lincoln Prize, the Jefferson Davis Award, the Richard B. Harwell Book Award and the Richard S. Slatten Award for Excellence in Virginia Biography. She has appeared on numerous radio and television programs based on her books

This lecture is presented in conjunction with Civil War 150,  featured in the Library’s gallery from May 1 through May 17.  Utilizing letters, personal accounts, and images, this exhibition traces major events during the Civil War through the eyes of soldiers, presidents, freedmen, and families.

Civil War 150 is a national traveling panel exhibition organized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with The Library of America.  The project, Civil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Live It, has been made possible in part through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.  Our programming, emphasizing a theme of “conflicted times,” is funded through the generosity of the Friends of Scotch Plains Public Library.

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