A major new biography of the Civil War general and American president, by the author of the New York Times bestseller A. Lincoln. The dramatic story of one of America's greatest and most misunderstood military leaders and presidents, this is a major new interpretation of Ulysses S. Grant. Based on 7 years of research with primary documents, some of them never tapped before, this is destined to become the Grant biography of our times.
©2016 Ronald C. White. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Compelling, Penetrating, Fair
White has enough confidence in his research and ultimately his discernment to render the story in a straight-forward manner that might have pleased its subject. White doesn't besiege the reader with footnotes, counterpoints or what-ifs, instead placing the reader in that time and place, with Grant.
The breakout towards Jackson during the Vicksburg Campaign. White is able to capture the intensity and pressures bearing down on Grant, and when, at last, Grant's forces move east when their target lay west, the reader gains a sense of Grant's audacity, nerve and will.
I am very familiar with the details of Grant's life and times from other biographies and histories. Yet there is cumulative power in White's writing and his description of Grant's last "campaign" at the close of his life was more moving than any other treatment I had encountered.
Any author attempting a comprehensive biography of such a momentous figure has to make choices about length and depth of detail. White's concentration is on the prominent figures on the Union side, and there is a nutshell quality to his descriptions of Grant's adversaries (even Lee). Ultimately that's a justified treatment of the vanquished. White briefly discusses Grant's long banishment into the historical wilderness, as his reputation declined and languished after his death, but White misses an opportunity to explore the context of the ongoing struggle by many to preserve the most imperfect aspects of the United States that led to the war and which continue to trouble the nation on the low boil. The most eye-opening aspect of the book was the depth of Grant's commitment to the rights and protection of the freedmen. If he was late getting there, his absolute, unshakable resolve on this point caused me to seriously reassess his presidency, and gave me a greater appreciation of his remarkable character.
This is the most insightful and instructive biography I have ever read. Not only does it give overdue credit to a truly great military leader and president and genuinely kind and humble man of extraordinary accomplishment, but it also provides the reader of a more complete and compelling picture of the monumental challenges faced by the nation and it's leader following the Civil War and it's aftermath. This work is must read history.
I loved this biography of Ulysses S Grant. Grant came alive as a person in the early chapters, both growing up, and in his West Point years. His life story is fascinating from start to end, through the Civil War, and his presidency in the tumultuous post-war period. The writing in this bio is great, and I never knew what a heroic man Grant was. Grant is best known for his military genius, and this book captures that well. Grant was a man of courage and integrity throughout his life, and he inspired me as a leader who was ahead of his time as a passionate advocate of civil rights. This biography captured his family life well, but I wanted to know more about how he dealt with marrying the daughter of a slave owner from St. Louis. The years of his presidency focused mostly on the politics of the day, which was fascinating but less personal than the other years of his life. This was a long book, but most of it was totally engaging, and all of it was so informative. The connections to politics today jumped from the page. After listening to this, I have a new American hero. This book was emotionally and intellectually engaging - a great combo.
I knew more of Grant the soldier but even them only in the context of other books. I was surprised by his depth, from soldier, General, President, and all around American ambassador and finally author. I also give high marks to the narrator. I have read A. Lincoln but this author and reviewed that highly as well.
the entire book I loved it they whole thing
A great american
We cold use a man such as this today
I have listened to a fair number of history books through Audible over the years and found this to be one of the most enjoyable books I've listened to in the last five years. The storytelling is compelling and the reader is absolutely first class. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to know more about a man whose reputation has become badly tarnished over the years and who is remembered chiefly for his corrupt administration. This book sheds an entirely different light on a truly great American, a man who offered extremely generous terms to General Lee when the general surrendered at Appomattox, and who used his administration and all of his power as President to further civil rights for both Native Americans and the newly freed African-Americans following the Civil War.
I am an author and a librarian, and I happily now live in the realm of audio books.
Ronald White succeeds admirably well in capturing Grant as a student, general and president. There is nothing more difficult than writing about battles, but white makes every battle of the Civil War exciting. Grant's story is a sad one. All, it seems he ever wanted to do was teach in a university. He ended up serving his country quite selflessly. Unfortunately, many people took advantage of his kind nature. I can't wait to see how Ron Chernow will compete with White when his biography on Grant is released later this year.
Report Inappropriate Content