As Confederate monuments come down in U.S. cities, America is once again grappling with its racist past. For Ty Seidule, a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Army and Professor Emeritus of History at West Point, this issue is personal. Brought up to revere Robert E. Lee, Seidule once believed that the Confederates were romantic underdogs who lost the Civil War with honor. Seidule will discuss his new book, ROBERT E. LEE AND ME: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause, with Maggie Mudd, former Westport Library trustee. Seidule describes how he confronted the racist legacy at the core of his identity and challenges the persistent myths of the Lost Cause.
If you missed this event, you can watch the recording here.
“Seidule openly confronts his own indifference to racism, and this absorbing book will be of value to anyone interested in how history informs our present.”—Library Journal, Starred Review
“A timely, powerful, compelling – and courageous – book. In Robert E. Lee and Me, Brigadier General Ty Seidule takes readers on a fascinating intellectual journey...This is a book of enormous importance and tremendous insight, a book that only a true southerner – and a true historian – could have written.”—General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret.), former Commander of the Surge in Iraq, US Central Command, and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan and former Director of the CIA.
Ty Seidule is Professor Emeritus of History at West Point where he taught for two decades. He served in the U.S. Army for thirty-six years, retiring as a brigadier general in 2020. He is the Chamberlain Fellow at Hamilton College as well as a New America Fellow. He has published numerous books, articles, and videos on military history including the award-winning West Point History of the Civil War. Ty graduated from Washington and Lee University and holds a PhD from the Ohio State University.
Maggie Mudd moved from New York to Westport 26 years ago to start married life and raise a family. She served 12 years as a Trustee of the Board of the Westport Library, which she credits with curing her trepidation about moving to a small town. She grew up in big cities around the world and had an international career, principally in banking; she also worked at the Commerce Department, the I.M.F., and the non-profit, Financial Services Volunteer Corps. As the daughter of a career diplomat, and with 2 career Army officers among her close relatives who served in sensitive spots, she naturally developed an amateur interest in political-military relations and international conflict prevention.