Best Books About Ulysses S Grant
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Ulysses S. Grant was the first four-star general in the history of the United States Army and the only president between Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson to serve eight consecutive years in the White House. As general in chief, Grant revolutionized modern warfare. As president, he brought stability to the country after years of war and upheaval. Yet today Grant is remembered as a brilliant general but a failed president.
Grant came to Washington in 1869 to lead a capital and a country still bitterly divided by four years of civil war. His predecessor, Andrew Johnson, had been impeached and the Radical Republicans in Congress were intent on imposing harsh conditions on the southern states before allowing them back into the Union. Grant made it his priority to forge the states back into a single nation, and Bunting shows that despite the troubles that characterized Grant’s term in office, he was able to accomplish this most important task, very often through the skillful use of his own popularity with the American people.
The seminal biography of one of America’s towering, enigmatic figures. From his boyhood in Ohio to the battlefields of the Civil War and his presidency during the crucial years of Reconstruction, this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography traces the entire arc of Grant’s life (1822-1885
Not since Bruce Catton has there been such an absorbing and exciting biography of Ulysses S. Grant. “Grant is a mystery to me,” said Sherman, “and I believe he is a mystery to himself.” Geoffrey Perret’s account offers new insights into Grant the commander and Grant the president that would have astonished both his friends, such as Sherman, and his enemies.
Excellent volume, well-researched & equally well-written by historian Bruce Catton. Author Catton takes the reader on a dramatic & kaleidoscopic accpont of the years during which Grant moved not only against Confederate armies but also against obstacles and frustrations imposed by his own superiors, and unlike those before him, he won out. An excellent read, Catton had the ability to write history like fiction in the most readable way possible. Well-worth reading if you are a history buff.
A classic work of military history, follows the enigmatic commander in chief of the Union forces through the last year and a half of the Civil War. It is both a revelatory portrait of Ulysses S. Grant and the dramatic story of how the war was won.
The complete personal memoirs of the 18th President of the United States and chief Union General during the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant.
Ulysses Grant emerges in this masterful biography as a genius in battle and a driven president to a divided country, who remained fearlessly on the side of right. He was a beloved commander in the field who made the sacrifices necessary to win the war, even in the face of criticism. He worked valiantly to protect the rights of freed men in the South. He allowed the American Indians to shape their own fate even as the realities of Manifest Destiny meant the end of their way of life. In this sweeping and majestic narrative, bestselling author H.W. Brands now reconsiders Grant’s legacy and provides an intimate portrait of a heroic man who saved the Union on the battlefield and consolidated that victory as a resolute and principled political leader.
Washington, Lincoln, Grant–these were once the triumvirate of American nationalism. But, like his tomb on the Hudson, Grant’s reputation has fallen into disrepair. The image many Americans hold of him is a caricature: someone “uniquely stupid,” an insensitive butcher as a general, an incompetent mediocrity as president, and a drunk. Several efforts to counter this stereotype have often gone too far in the other direction, resulting in an equally distorted laudatory portrait of near-perfection. In reading the original sources, Brooks D. Simpson became convinced that Grant was neither a bumbling idiot who was the darling of fortune nor a flawless general who could do no wrong. Rather, he was a tangle of opposing qualities–a relentless warrior but a generous victor, a commander who drew upon uncommon common sense in drafting campaign plans and in winning battles, a soldier so sensitive to suffering that he could not stand to see the bloody hides at his father’s tannery, a man who made mistakes and sometimes learned from them. Even as he waged war, he realized the broader political implications of the struggle; he came to believe that the preservation of the Union depended upon the destruction of slavery. Equally compelling is Grant’s personal story–one of a man who struggled against great odds, bad luck, and personal humiliation, who sought joy and love in the arms of his wife and his children, and who was determined to overcome adversity and prevail over his detractors. “None of our public men have a story so strange as this,” Owen Wister once observed; agreeing, William T. Sherman remarked that Grant remained a mystery even to himself. In the first of two volumes, Brooks Simpson brings Grant’s story to life in an account that is readable, balanced, compelling, and definitive.
Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868 by Brooks D. Simpson
Historians have traditionally drawn distinctions between Ulysses S. Grant’s military and political careers. In Let Us Have Peace, Brooks Simpson questions such distinctions and offers a new understanding of this often enigmatic leader. He argues that during the 1860s Grant was both soldier and politician, for military and civil policy were inevitably intertwined during the Civil War and Reconstruction era. According to Simpson, Grant instinctively understood that war was ‘politics by other means.’ Moreover, he realized that civil wars presented special challenges: reconciliation, not conquest, was the Union’s ultimate goal. And in peace, Grant sought to secure what had been won in war, stepping in to assume a more active role in policymaking when the intransigence of white Southerners and the obstructionist behavior of President Andrew Johnson threatened to spoil the fruits of Northern victory.
During and after the Civil War, four presidents faced the challenge of reuniting the nation and of providing justice for black Americans—and of achieving a balance between those goals. This first book to collectively examine the Reconstruction policies of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes reveals how they confronted and responded to the complex issues presented during that contested era in American politics.
In an insightful blend of biography and cultural history, Joan Waugh traces Grant’s shifting national and international reputation, illuminating the role of memory in our understanding of American history. Using a wide range of written and visual sources–newspaper articles, private and public reminiscences, photographs, paintings, cartoons, poetry, and much more–Waugh reveals how Grant became the embodiment of the American nation in the decades after the Civil War. She does not paper over Grant’s image as a scandal-ridden contributor to the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. Instead, she captures a sense of what led nineteenth-century Americans to overlook Grant’s obvious faults and hold him up as a critically important symbol of national reconciliation and unity. Waugh further shows that Grant’s reputation and place in public memory closely parallel the rise and fall of the northern version of the Civil War story–in which the United States was the clear, morally superior victor and Grant was the symbol of that victory. By the 1880s, Waugh shows, after the failure of Reconstruction, the dominant Union myths about the war gave way to a southern version that emphasized a more sentimental remembrance of the honor and courage of both sides and ennobled the “Lost Cause.” During this social transformation, Grant’s public image changed as well. By the 1920s, his reputation had plummeted.
Ulysses S. Grant: A Victor, Not a Butcher: The Military Genius of the Man Who Won the Civil War by Edward H. Bonekemper III
Ulysses S. Grant is often accused of being a cold–hearted butcher of his troops. In Ulysses S. Grant: A Victor, Not a Butcher, historian Edward H. Bonekemper III proves that Grant’s casualty rates actually compared favorably with those of other Civil War generals. His perseverance, decisiveness, moral courage, and political acumen place him among the greatest generals of the Civil War—indeed, of all military history. Bonekemper proves that it was no historical accident that Grant accepted the surrender of three entire Confederate armies and won the Civil War. Bonekemper ably silences Grant’s critics and restores Grant to the heroic reputation he so richly deserves.
In his time, Ulysses S. Grant was routinely grouped with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the “Trinity of Great American Leaders.” But the battlefield commander–turned–commander-in-chief fell out of favor in the twentieth century. InAmerican Ulysses, Ronald C. White argues that we need to once more revise our estimates of him in the twenty-first.
Horace Porter (1837-1921) graduated from West Point in 1860 and was skilled enough to rise through the ranks of the Union army to become a brigadier general during the Civil War. Porter also won the Medal of Honor for rallying troops at the Battle of Chickamauga, allowing wagon trains and guns to escape. But Porter is remembered today for his service during the last year of the war, becoming one of the staff members for General Ulysses S. Grant. Porter earned the general’s admiration and ended up being President Grant’s chief of staff. Porter later wrote a captivating account in his memoirs, Campaigning With Grant. In Campaigning With Grant, which relied upon Porter’s use of notes he took in the field at the time, Porter essentially wrote an eyewitness account of the fighting between Lee and Grant. It also gives readers a close-up view of Grant, mentioning his daily routines, personal traits and habits, and what motivated him.
Long before leadership became identified as the catalyst for corporate success, the Civil War’s winning general was showing the world how dynamic leadership is the crucial determinant of victory or defeat.Ulysses S. Grant never sought fame of glory, nor did he try to tie his performance to personal reward. Instead, he concentrated on contribution and service. He looked upon being given increased responsibility not as increasing his power, but as increasing his ability to get the job done.
Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee–The War They Fought, the Peace They Forged by William C. Davis
They met in person only four times, yet these two men—Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee—determined the outcome of America’s most divisive war and cast larger-than-life shadows over their reunited nation. They came from vastly different backgrounds: Lee from a distinguished family of waning fortunes; Grant, a young man on the make in a new America. Differing circumstances colored their outlooks on life: Lee, the melancholy realist; Grant, the incurable optimist.
First published fifty years ago, Fuller’s study of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee remains one of his most brilliant and durable works, Grant and Lee is a compelling study not only of the two men, but also of the nature of leadership and command in wartime.
Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian is a comprehensive, multi-theater, war-long comparison of the command skills of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. Written by Edward H. Bonekemper III, Grant and Lee clarifies the impact both generals had on the outcome of the Civil War—namely, the assistance that Lee provided to Grant by Lee’s excessive casualties in Virginia, the consequent drain of Confederate resources from Grant’s battlefronts, and Lee’s refusal and delay of reinforcements to the combat areas where Grant was operating. The reader will be left astounded by the level of aggression both generals employed to secure victory for their respective causes, as Bonekemper demonstrates that Grant was a national general whose tactics were consistent with acheiving Union victory, whereas Lee’s own priorities constantly undermined the Confederacy’s chances of winning the war.
For the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, The Library of America re-issues the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman in a handsome, newly designed case. An ailing Grant wrote his Personal Memoirs to secure his family’s future. In doing so, the Civil War’s greatest general won himself a unique place in American letters. John Keegan has called it “perhaps the most revelatory autobiography of high command to exist in any language.” The Library of America’s edition of Grant’s Memoirs includes 175 of his letters to Lincoln, Sherman, and his wife, Julia, among others. Hailed as a prophet of modern war and condemned as a harbinger of modern barbarism, William T. Sherman is the most controversial general of the Civil War. “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it,” he wrote in fury to the Confederate mayor of Atlanta, and his memoir is filled with dozens of such wartime exchanges and a fascinating account of the famous march through Georgia and the Carolinas.
They were both prewar failures—Grant, forced to resign from the Regular Army because of his drinking, and Sherman, holding four different jobs, including a much-loved position at a southern military academy—in the years before the firing on Fort Sumter. They began their unique collaboration ten months into the war, at the Battle of Shiloh, each carefully taking the other’s measure. They shared the demands of family life and the heartache of personal tragedy. They shared similar philosophies of battle, employed similar strategies and tactics, and remained in close, virtually daily communication throughout the conflict. They were incontestably two of the Civil War’s most important figures, and the deep, abiding friendship they shared made the Union’s ultimate victory possible.
In U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Bruce Catton explores the life and legacy of one of the nation’s greatest and most misunderstood heroes before, during, and after the terrible War Between the States that violently split the country in two. Beginning with Ulysses S. Grant’s youth in Ohio and his service as a young lieutenant under General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican-American War, the story continues through Grant’s postwar disgrace, his forced resignation for drinking, and his failures as a citizen farmer and salesman. But after the Civil War broke out, Grant rose from the rank of an unknown solider to commanding general of the US Army, finding redemption as the military savior of the embattled Union.
In the spring of 1884 Ulysses S. Grant heeded the advice of Mark Twain and finally agreed to write his memoirs. Little did Grant or Twain realize that this seemingly straightforward decision would profoundly alter not only both their lives but the course of American literature. Over the next fifteen months, as the two men became close friends and intimate collaborators, Grant raced against the spread of cancer to compose a triumphant account of his life and times—while Twain struggled to complete and publish his greatest novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.In this deeply moving and meticulously researched book, veteran writer Mark Perry reconstructs the heady months when Grant and Twain inspired and cajoled each other to create two quintessentially American masterpieces.
In a brilliantly constructed and powerfully rendered new account, James R. Arnold offers a penetrating analysis of Grant’s strategies and actions leading to the Union victory at Vicksburg. Approaching these epic events from a unique and well-rounded perspective, and based on careful research, Grant Wins the War is fascinating reading for all Civil War and military history buffs.
Author Chris Mackowski, Ph.D. has recounted Grant’s battlefield achievements as a historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and as an academic, he has studied Grant’s literary career. His familiarity with the former president as a general and as a writer brings Grant’s Last Battle to life with new insight, told with the engaging prose that has become the hallmark of the Emerging Civil War Series.
William B. Feis offers us the first scholarly examination of the use of military intelligence under Ulysses S. Grant’s command during the Civil War. Feis makes the new and provocative argument that Grant’s use of the Army of the Potomac’s Bureau of Military Information played a significant role in Lee’s defeat. Feis’s work articulately rebuts accusations by Grant’s detractors that his battlefield successes involved little more than the bludgeoning of an undermanned and outgunned opponent.
Lincoln and Grant is an intimate dual-portrait of President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant: their ordinary “Western” backgrounds, their early struggles to succeed, and their history-making relationship during the Civil War. Though generally remembered by history as two very different personalities, the soft-spoken Lincoln and often-crude Grant in fact shared a similar drive and determination, as this in-depth character study illustrates.
As The Last Full Measure opens, Gettysburg is past and the war advances to its third brutal year. On the Union side, the gulf between the politicians in Washington and the generals in the field yawns ever wider. Never has the cumbersome Union Army so desperately needed a decisive, hard-nosed leader. It is at this critical moment that Lincoln places Ulysses S. Grant in command—and turns the tide of war.
With To the North Anna River, the third book in his outstanding five-book series, Gordon C. Rhea continues his spectacular narrative of the initial campaign between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in the spring of 1864. May 13 through 25, a phase oddly ignored by historians, was critical in the clash between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia. During those thirteen days — an interlude bracketed by horrific battles that riveted the public’s attention — a game of guile and endurance between Grant and Lee escalated to a suspenseful draw on Virginia’s North Anna River.
On December 17, 1862, just weeks before Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, General Grant issued what remains the most notorious anti-Jewish order by a government official in American history. His attempt to eliminate black marketeers by targeting for expulsion all Jews “as a class” unleashed a firestorm of controversy that made newspaper headlines and terrified and enraged the approximately 150,000 Jews then living in the United States, who feared the importation of European antisemitism onto American soil.
How the unprepossessing Ulysses S. Grant, whose military genius ultimately preserved the Union, came to the forefront in the Civil War is a story as surprising as it is compelling. Forced to resign his commission in the peacetime army for drinking, and thereafter reduced to eking out a living for himself and his family with hardscrabble jobs, at the outbreak of hostilities he suddenly found himself a colonel, and then a general, of volunteers. Grant made the most of unexpected commands. what he knew best, it turned out, was how to wage war, relentlessly and with irresistible force.
Ulysses S. Grant certainly does not have the typical war hero “back story.” Although a graduate of West Point, he never wanted to be a soldier and was terrified when he first saw battle. However, during the Civil War, after many Northern generals failed to deliver decisive victories, U.S. Grant rose to what the times required. He took command of Union forces, helped bring the war to an end in 1865, and went on to serve two terms as president.