Robert E. Lee, one of the most famous figures in American history, vanished after his dramatic surrender at Appomattox. In fact, he lived only another five years, during which time he did more than any other American to heal the wounds between North and South during the tempestuous postwar period.
"An incredible leader"
If the Wright brothers' 1903 flights in Kitty Hawk marked the birth of aviation, World War I can be called its violent adolescence - a brief but bloody era that completely changed the way planes were designed, fabricated, and flown. The war forged an industry that would redefine transportation and warfare for future generations.
"Good stories but not a history of WWI aviation"
Shortly after losing all of his wealth in a terrible 1884 swindle, Ulysses S. Grant learned he had terminal throat and mouth cancer. Destitute and dying, Grant began to write his memoirs to save his family from permanent financial ruin. As Grant continued his work, suffering increasing pain, the American public became aware of this race between Grant's writing and his fatal illness. Twenty years after his respectful and magnanimous demeanor toward Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, people in the North and the South came to know Grant, now using his famous determination in this final effort.
"Great story, average narration"
"We were as brothers," William Tecumseh Sherman said, describing his relationship with Ulysses S. Grant. They were incontestably two of the most important figures in the Civil War, but until now there has been no book about their victorious partnership and the deep friendship that made it possible.
At the beginning of 1864, the Civil War was far from won; terrible and bloody Union setbacks and casualties lay ahead. Abraham Lincoln was facing a re-election battle as some northern Democrats were ready to start peace talks that could leave the Confederacy a separate slaveholding American nation and as his secretary of the treasury, Salmon P. Chase, challenged him for the Republican nomination. But by the end of the year, the war's end was in sight, and slavery was on the verge of extinction.
"Terrific book, mediocre writing"