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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

Robert E. Lee Was America’s Most Gallant, Decorated Traitor

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Robert E. Lee was one of the most confounding figures in American history. From Lee’s betrayal of his nation to defend his home state and uphold the slave system he claimed to oppose, to his traitorous actions against the country he swore to serve as an Army officer, to the ways he benefited from inherited slaves and fought to defend the institution of slavery despite considering slavery immoral, it’s a major undertaking to understand him in all his complexity.

Today’s guest, Allen Guelzo, author of Robert E. Lee: A Life, describes the Virginian from his refined upbringing in Virginia high society, to his long career in the U.S. Army, his agonized decision to side with Virginia when it seceded from the Union, and his leadership during the Civil War. Overall, we explore the many complexities and unexpected paradoxes that existed within Robert E. Lee himself.
January 13, 2022
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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