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The Civil War Round Table of Atlanta, Georgia has awarded its Richard Barksdale Harwell Book Award to Elizabeth Brown Pryor for her book, Reading the Man:  A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters.  The Harwell Award has been presented annually since 1989 for the best book on a Civil War subject published in the preceding year. 

Reading the Man, published by the Penguin Group USA, Inc. in 2007, presents a new and different portrait of R.E. Lee, revealing him to be more complex and contradictory than is often described.  Based on detailed research in many previously unpublished sources, Ms. Pryor draws on these accounts to address such events as his early life, his work as a military engineer and his role as a family man frequently separated from his wife and seven children.   Of particular interest are the sections describing Lee's decision to resign from the U.S. Army as the nation moved toward civil war, his role as Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia and his dealings with disappointments in the years following the surrender of his army at Appomattox Court House.  

Elizabeth Brown Pryor has combined successful careers as a senior diplomat with the American Foreign Service and as an award-winning historian.  She is also the author of  Clara Barton:  Professional Angel.  Ms. Pryor will speak on Reading the Man to the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta on September 9, 2008 and will accept the Harwell Award at that time.

The Harwell Award honors the late Richard B. Harwell, nationally recognized librarian, bibliographer and historian as well as first President of the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta.   The award consists of a $1,000 check and an engraved plaque for the author in recognition of the event.  This year marks the 20th year that this nationally recognized award has honored published works of  Civil War literature.  Previous recipients of the award include such highly respected authors as James I. "Bud" Robertson, Gary Gallagher, Robert K. Krick, Emory Thomas, William C. "Jack" Davis and Gordon Rhea.

               Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through Hi

Elizabeth Brown Pryor                    Harwell Book Award