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From The CriticsThe historical perception of Ulysses S. Grant is that Grant led his country to victory during the Civil War by indiscriminately sacrificing his men in battle. The eighteenth president has been dismissed as an embarrassing failure whose administration was marked by utter corruption. Historian Smith, whose other books include a biography of United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, offers a radically different view of Grant, whom he considers a strong political leader. Smith disputes the notion that Grant was a butcher of his own men, and this book, which is ultimately concerned with Grant's presidency, praises the leader's two administrations and defends his treatment of blacks during Reconstruction. While Smith's biography may upset those scholars in lockstep with previous interpretations, it will undoubtedly enthrall its readers.