The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee
By Thomas Fleming
(Forge Books, Hardcover, 9780765313522, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 10, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback
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1865. The Civil War is over and the South lies in ruins. But for some, the former slaveholders have not been punished enough. A cabal of powerful men, led by Charles A. Dana, the Assistant Secretary of War, plot to break the spirit of the South once and for all--by convicting General Robert E. Lee of treason and hanging him like a common criminal.
To this end, they have convened a secret military tribunal in Lee's former home in Arlington, Virginia.
Jeremiah O'Brien of The New York Tribune, a long-time protege of Dana's, is the only reporter allowed to attend the trial. His exclusive reports on this momentous event, and the book he intends to write, will surely make his fortune. Yet as the trial proceeds, pitting the general against his accusers, O'Brien finds himself torn between his loyalty to Dana, his love for a beautiful Confederate spy, and his growing respect and compassion for Lee himself. The young reporter is supposed to be only an observer, but, in the end, it is O'Brien who must evaluate the evidence . . . and determine the true meaning of honor.
Written by acclaimed author and historian Thomas Fleming, The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee brings to life a fascinating chapter in American history that might well have happened--and perhaps truly did.
Thomas Fleming is a distinguished historian and the author of numerous critically acclaimed and bestselling novels. His masterpiece, The Officers' Wives was an international bestseller with more than two million copies sold. His other novels include Time and Tide, Liberty Tavern, Conquerors of the Sky, and When this Cruel War Is Over. His nonfiction book, Liberty! The American Revolution was the companion volume to the PBS six-part mini-series. He also writes frequently for American Heritage magazine and is a contributing editor for The Quarterly Journal of Military History. He lives in New York City.
“This novel explores one of the most intriguing "What-ifs" in American history. Drawing on the acknowledged fact that many northerners thought Robert E. Lee should be tried for treason, Thomas Fleming has staged the courtroom confrontation with remarkable authenticity and mesmerizing drama. The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee will fascinate--and ocasionally infuriate--northerners and southerners. Once more this gifted writer has used fiction to add new profoundly human dimensions to American history.”---Charles Bracelen Flood, author of Lee, The Last Years and Grant And Sherman, The Friendship That Won The Civil War
"Thomas Fleming can be ranked with Herman Wouk and James Jones. He probes the heart of the American experience."--New York Times Book Review
"Thomas Fleming is one of my favorite writers because he combines powerful storytelling with the skills of a superb historian."--John Jakes
"Fleming's in-depth knowledge of period and culture, his ability to separate the myth from the reality, all help you discover the very essence of what it means to be an American."--Margaret Truman
Once more this gifted writer has used fiction to add new profoundly human dimensions to American history.
-Charles Bracelen Flood