Magazine February 9, 2015, Issue

Calls of Duty

Robert E. Lee, March 1864 (AP/Library of Congress/Julian Vannerson)
The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History, by Jonathan Horn (Scribner, 384 pp., $28)

While writing a book about Abraham Lincoln, I naturally thought of Robert E. Lee. Not often, for I was determined to avoid that great pitfall of Civil War historiography, battle porn. Yet there, across enemy lines, was that other famous bearded face: handsome and well-groomed, not angular and scruffy, but dyed, like the president’s, with melancholy. Well might Lee be melancholy, for though he had all the virtues, yet at the crisis of his and the nation’s life he made all the wrong choices.

Jonathan Horn’s fascinating book looks at Lee through the prism of yet another famous man, George Washington. …

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Moved to Kill

Le Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, the 60-acre public park in which the Kouachi brothers, who carried out the murderous attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, participated in an extensive jihadi ...
Politics & Policy

Rire in the Rear

It’s been more than two weeks since the deadly attack at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, which is enough time to allow me to say ...
Politics & Policy

Apprenticed for Success

President Obama is committed to making community college as accessible as high school, and he is convinced that doing so will greatly improve America’s economic prospects. Specifically, he is calling ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Bacon Bits

Over a recent holiday, I was rummaging through my mother’s basement. I found a book called “Notes on the Piano,” by Ernst Bacon. I had enjoyed it very much when ...
Politics & Policy

Things That Go Bump

Horror movies are rarely critical darlings, and horror movies released during the height of prestige-movie season even less. But the Australian import The Babadook has worked its way under the ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Greyhound with Wings In your January 26 issue, Kevin D. Williamson (“Unholy Alliances”) charges airlines with a “cascade of incompetence” because he has apparently been routinely and unfairly inconvenienced by them. ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ It’s great that they’ve got a friend. Now could they have an ally? ‐ President Obama’s State of the Union address was full of liberal proposals that thankfully stand no ...
Athwart

Being Sad Together

I was never Charlie. I support their right to stick out their tongue and blow raspberries; I do so from a safe distance with no thought of personal risk. My workplace ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

CRITIC The black-capped skull obliviously alert (My stare had not yet caught its yellow eye),                                        His head jerked left then right. Between each stab: the hooked neb, pricking at              An upturned breast, its puff of ...

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