Ryan Cole: Light-Horse Harry Lee: The Rise and Fall of a Revolutionary Hero – The Tragic Life of Robert E. Lee’s Father

"Light-Horse Harry blazes across the pages of Ryan Cole's narrative like a meteor—and his final crash is as destructive. Cole tells his story with care, sympathy, and where necessary, sternness. This book is a great, and sometimes harrowing read." —Richard Brookhiser, senior editor at National Review and author of Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington

Who was "Light-Horse Harry" Lee?

Gallant Revolutionary War hero. Quintessential Virginia cavalryman. George Washington’s trusted subordinate and immortal eulogist. Robert E. Lee’s beloved father. Founding father who shepherded the Constitution through the Virginia Ratifying Convention.

But Light-Horse Harry Lee was also a con man. A beachcomber. Imprisoned for debt. Caught up in sordid squabbles over squalid land deals. Maimed for life by an angry political mob.

Light-Horse Harry Lee’s life was tragic, glorious, and dramatic, but perhaps because of its sad, ignominious conclusion historians have rarely given him his due—until now.

Now historian Ryan Cole presents this soldier and statesman of the founding generation with all the vim and vigor that typified Lee himself. Scouring hundreds of contemporary documents and reading his way into Lee’s life, political philosophy, and character, Cole gives us the most intimate picture to date of this greatly awed but hugely talented man whose influence has reverberated from the founding of the United States to the present day.

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