Extended Audio Sample

Download The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History, by Jonathan Horn Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Horn Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $29.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

On the eve of the Civil War, one soldier embodied the legacy of George Washington and the hopes of a divided land. Both North and South knew Robert E. Lee as the son of Washington’s most famous eulogist and the son-in-law of Washington’s adopted child. Each side sought his services for high command. Lee could choose only one. The decision he made would change history.

In The Man Who Would Not Be Washington, former White House speechwriter Jonathan Horn reveals how the officer most associated with Washington’s legacy went to war against the union that represented Washington’s greatest legacy. This thoroughly researched and gracefully written biography follows the Virginia icon through married life, military glory, and misfortune. The story that emerges is more complicated, more tragic, and more illuminating than the familiar tale. It is more complicated because the unresolved question of slavery—the seed of disunion—was among the personal legacies that Washington left Lee. It is more tragic because the Civil War destroyed the people and places connecting Lee to Washington in agonizing and astonishing ways. It is more illuminating because the battle for Washington’s memory shaped the nation that America is today.

As Washington was the man who would not be king, Lee was the man who would not be Washington. The choice was Lee’s. The story is America’s.

A must-read for those passionate about history, The Man Who Would Not Be Washington introduces Jonathan Horn as a masterly voice in the field.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Compelling….a modern and readable perspective on Lee’s enigmatic character.”

    USA Today

  • “Very apt…well written, fair-minded.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “Jonathan Horn’s fascinating book looks at Lee through the prism of yet another famous man, George Washington. His subtle and sympathetic examination of the Washington-Lee connection helps us understand the Lee question…Fascinating, thought provoking, and deeply sad.”

    National Review

  • “The complexity and multifaceted nuances of most political decisions are masterfully revealed…An excellent addition to the library of Civil War books. Horn presents not only the historical record but also thepathos, irony, and tension involved in Lee’s decision and how it reflected issues in his personal life. The author’s work reads very much like a novel and is suitable for both serious historians and lovers of engaging stories.”


  • "[Horn] provides an outstanding book that will be enjoyed by all readers interested in Lee…Horn’s book is a thought-provoking, illuminating look at Lee written from a fresh perspective….extremely well written and recommended to all.”

    Civil War News

  • “A brilliant, compelling book…both beautifully written and exhaustively researched, one that conveys the complications and tragedies of Lee’s decision, his role in the subsequent war, and his life and legacy in the peace that followed.”

    General David H. Petraeus, US Army (Ret.)

  • “Captures the many facets of Robert E. Lee’s crowded life…A seminal contribution of significant historiographical value.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Captivating…Detailed yet accessible descriptions of battles are coupled with stories of Lee’s personal life, revealing a man as complex as the war he reluctantly joined…A fair and equitable approach to Lee, his life, and his struggle over participation in a war that tore apart the nation.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “In this beautifully written narrative, Jonathan Horn clears away the cobwebs of myth and gives us a Lee passionately committed to a specific vision of America and leadership, but endlessly tortured about how to deal with a divided Union. The Man Who Would Not Be Washington succeeds at offering soundly researched history, fresh perspective, and gripping prose. Even for those well acquainted with the story of Lee and the Civil War, this is a genuine page-turner.”

    Harold Holzer, award-winning author

  • “Jonathan Horn has brought us an intriguing, nuanced, close-up portrait of a complex American leader and his fateful moment of choice.”

    Michael Beschloss, award-winning historian

  • “David Drummond adroitly narrates this well-researched account of Robert E. Lee with a sonorous bass voice…Drummond keeps listeners’ attention throughout. Drummond achieves an excellent match of text and reader with a seemingly effortless narration.”


Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Jonathan Horn is a former White House presidential speechwriter and the author of The Man Who Would Not Be Washington. He has appeared as a commentator on MSNBC and BBC radio and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Weekly Standard, and other outlets. A graduate of Yale University, he lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Caroline.