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Grant (Hardcover)

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If there ever was a time when our country needed a genuine hero, today might rival any other time.  There's a real darkness that pervades our pathetic politics -- with too few figures to lift our nation's psyche.  Looking back over 150 years ago in the early 1860's, we can now see a past that was proving prologue.  The United States experiment was evaporating into excruciating animosity.  "The South" wanted out.  Blood was running in the streets and fields.  No one seemed capable of turning the tides.  Until Grant.

 

In the past five years, there have been at least two epic books written about Ulysses W. Grant.  And yet now, another by Ron Chernow Why Grant?  The man is the perfect hero.  Someone who grew up from deep obscurity in the middle of nowhere.  A brilliant strategist who humbled even the best of foes.  In fact, a person dedicated to humility -- and to simply "doing the right thing" regardless. But maybe one of the most important factors for Chernow was that over 50 thousand "Grant's papers" were recently released in 32 rather massive volumes for historians to pour over -- all chock full of new insights about this fascinating man.

 

Chernow is a terrific storyteller.  He starts at square one.  And leads you through over 60 years of American history in 960 pages. So if you're thinking of curling up with a good book for the entire winter, this could be your best bet!  And what would you learn?  How some persevere against all odds.  Why Grant has been rightly compared in the same breath with Napoleon.  Why Robert E. Lee never had a chance.  Why Lincoln was saved at last by an ex "tanner boy".  Why Washington could be called the creator of The U.S. -- and Grant earned credit for preserving it.  How to succeed by taking the high ground when dealing with intractable issues like ending slavery.  How to breed endless loyalty, especially with one's partner in life.

 

But on loyalty, if Grant had a short suit, it was being blindly loyal to a few who deserved less.  Against stiff head winds of reality, Grant would simply not be able to see the bad sides of certain "friends"... friends who ended up fleecing him mercilessly.  Another fault line Chernow mines is Grant's genetic inability to drink.  Evidently, even the smallest dose of evil drink would turn Grant tipsy -- which gave his detractors endless opportunities to try to cut him down and drown him.  Grant always came up for air, and he eventually mastered an ability to "just say no".  Unlike other books on Grant, Chernow exposes all of this tendency to imbibe faithfully and fully -- something even Grant didn't do in his classic 1885 two volume Memoirs.

 

So get the book.  Read what Walt Whitman waxes poetic.  What Frederick Douglass has to say.  And how Mark Twain saved Grant's legacy in the end.  Grant truly is a towering figure in world history.  Just don't try to compare him to today's frightful lack of true heroes -- particularly Presidential ones.

— From Bob's Book Talk

Description


The #1 New York Times bestseller.

Named one of the 10 Best Books of 2017 by The New York Times Book Review.

Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant.

Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.

Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had ended dismally, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in war, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign, and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Along the way, Grant endeared himself to President Lincoln and became his most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort. Grant's military fame translated into a two-term presidency, but one plagued by corruption scandals involving his closest staff members.

More important, he sought freedom and justice for black Americans, working to crush the Ku Klux Klan and earning the admiration of Frederick Douglass, who called him "the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race." After his presidency, he was again brought low by a dashing young swindler on Wall Street, only to resuscitate his image by working with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs, which are recognized as a masterpiece of the genre.

With lucidity, breadth, and meticulousness, Chernow finds the threads that bind these disparate stories together, shedding new light on the man whom Walt Whitman described as "nothing heroic... and yet the greatest hero." Chernow's probing portrait of Grant's lifelong struggle with alcoholism transforms our understanding of the man at the deepest level. This is America's greatest biographer, bringing movingly to life one of our finest but most underappreciated presidents. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant's life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.

Named one of the best books of the year by Goodreads - Amazon - The New York Times - Newsday - BookPage - Barnes and Noble - Wall Street Journal

About the Author


Ron Chernow is the prizewinning author of six previous books and the recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. His first book, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award, Washington: A Life won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, and Alexander Hamilton--the inspiration for the Broadway musical--won the George Washington Book Prize. A past president of PEN America, Chernow has been the recipient of eight honorary doctorates. He resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781594204876
ISBN-10: 159420487X
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017
Pages: 1104
Language: English


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by Dr. Radut