Douglas Southall Freeman (1886 – 1953) was an American historian, biographer, newspaper editor, radio commentator, and author. He is best known for his multi-volume biographies of Robert E. Lee and George Washington, for both of which he was awarded Pulitzer Prizes.
Freeman's research of Lee was exhaustive. He evaluated and catalogued every item about Lee, and he reviewed records at West Point and the War Department and material in private collections. In narrating the general's Civil War years, he used what came to be known as the "fog of war" technique, providing readers only the limited information that Lee himself had at a given moment. That helped convey the confusion of war that Lee experienced as well as the processes by which Lee grappled with problems and made decisions.
R. E. Lee: A Biography was published in four volumes in 1934 and 1935. In its book review, The New York Times declared it "Lee complete for all time." Historian Dumas Malone wrote, "Great as my personal expectations were, the realisation far surpassed them." In 1935, Freeman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his four-volume biography.
Freeman began work on his biography of Lee in 1926; by the time he had completed his four volume work in 1933, he had committed some 6,100 hours to the effort.
There is a fold-out map at the end of Volume I.
All four volumes have bumping, rubbing and shelf wear to the covers with a few water stain spots. In Volume II, there is cracking of the binding between the front free end paper and the frontispiece. On the front free end paper of each volume is written a dedication. Other than this, inside the pages are clean and the binding is firm.