Grant (Great Generals Series)

Overview

In this newest addition to the Palgrave Great Generals series, John Mosier brings to life the brilliant military strategist Ulysses S. Grant. A modest and unassuming man, Grant never lost a battle, leading the Union to victory over the Confederacy during the Civil War, ultimately becoming President of the reunited states. Grant revolutionized military warfare by creating new leadership strategies and by integrating new technologies in classical military strategy. In this compelling biography, Mosier reveals the ...

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Overview

In this newest addition to the Palgrave Great Generals series, John Mosier brings to life the brilliant military strategist Ulysses S. Grant. A modest and unassuming man, Grant never lost a battle, leading the Union to victory over the Confederacy during the Civil War, ultimately becoming President of the reunited states. Grant revolutionized military warfare by creating new leadership strategies and by integrating new technologies in classical military strategy. In this compelling biography, Mosier reveals the man behind the military legend, showing how Grant's creativity and genius off the battlefield shaped him into one of our nation's greatest military leaders.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An outstanding contribution to General Wesley Clark's Great Generals Series...Mosier writes with great conviction and concision. It is easy to fall under his spell...What makes Mosier such an attractive writer is his iconoclasm and his ability to reargue history and biography...Written with verve and directness."—The New York Sun

"Concise and informative . . . Mosier does an excellent job explaining Grant's genius for the art of war. . . . [A] Lucid, enlightening picture of the general and what made him truly unique."—Military Review

"A solid description of the most effective Union general. Grant has been consistently underestimated and Mosier helps correct that."—Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the US House of Representatives and author of Gettysburg and Grant Comes East

"Mosier has written the best appraisal of Grant's generalship ever to appear. Synthesizing and occasionally rebutting the estimates made by various experts—military historians, biographers, and prominent military men—Mosier has gone farther than anyone in proclaiming Grant to have been a military genius, one who in a number of ways surpassed both Napoleon and Wellington. This is a bold thesis, but Mosier is fully persuasive on point after point, smoothly and effectively placing Grant into perspective not only in terms of the Civil War and American military history, tradition, and doctrine, but also in favorable comparison with the greatest European generals of the past three centuries."—Charles Bracelen Flood, author of Grant and Sherman: The Friendship that Won the Civil War and Lee: The Last Years

Publishers Weekly
Palgrave's Great Generals series continues with this sketchy, unbalanced homage to the Union war hero. Military historian Mosier (The Myth of the Great War) focuses on Grant's Civil War exploits, emphasizing his brilliant early victories and glossing over the bloody 1864 campaign when his generalship dimmed. A brief section on his presidency dubiously calls Grant "our most undervalued president." Mosier offers a good pr cis of Grant's virtues: his ability to translate penetrating strategic insights into vigorous, well-coordinated operations; his imperturbable coolness in the face of reverses; an energy and combativeness unmatched by other Union generals (especially his nominal superior, the conniving "good for nothing" Henry Halleck). But he flirts with hagiography, portraying Grant as both a military genius who eclipsed even Napoleon and as a great commoner whose very ordinariness made him the personification of American democracy-in-arms. His reverence leads to a number of historical misjudgments, like his contention that Grant never lost a battle, which overlooks Union set backs at Cold Harbor and Petersburg, and his baffling claim that "no Union general besides Grant was able to mount successful offensive operations." Indeed, Mosier's severest criticism is of the general's "too trusting belief in the goodness of his fellow men." Grant's achievements were real enough to make such obfuscating overstatements unnecessary. Photos. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Forbes Magazine
Makes a forcefully unapologetic case for Grant's military brilliance. Grant's taciturn personality and careless dress easily led to his being caricatured as a man of limited intelligence. But, as Mosier points out, no one of mediocre ability could have taught himself algebra, as Grant did when a teenager. Grant was extraordinarily innovative. Both as a field officer and supreme commander, Grant devised tactics and then whole campaigns that beat a well-led, hard-fighting foe. In the last year of the war, when the two giants collided, Lee's losses were proportionately greater than Grant's. (4 Jun 2007)
—Steve Forbes
Library Journal
Mosier (The Myth of the Great War) delivers an engaging biography of Ulysses S. Grant as general that will appeal to a popular audience. While lacking the extensive detail found in more lengthy works on Grant, this contribution to Palgrave's "Great Generals" series provides a solid assessment of Grant's military life and the particular skills that enabled him to be, Mosier feels, an officer of genius. The quick narrative makes the book an effortless read. While a good deal of the text is devoted to Grant's leadership in the Mexican and Civil wars, Mosier includes broader personal information, such as how Grant's name morphed from Hiram Ulysses Grant to Ulysses S. Grant and the stories of his reputed heavy drinking. For lay readers, these details are important in humanizing Grant and defining his great military leadership, shaped, as Mosier shows, in Grant's early campaigns. Well researched and informative, this book is completed with a time line, a foreword by series editor Gen. Wesley K. Clark, black-and-white photographs, and extensive chapter notes. Highly recommended for public and undergraduate libraries of all sizes.-Gena Moore, Central Piedmont Community Coll. Lib., Charlotte, NC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403971364
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/3/2006
  • Series: Great Generals Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.85 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

John Mosier is the author of The Myth of the Great War, and from 1989-1992 he edited the New Orleans Review. As a military historian, he received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum for the study of the two world wars. He lives in Jefferson, Louisiana.

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Table of Contents

Grant's Life and Military Career before 1861

• The Early Battles: Belmont, Forts Henry and Donelson, Shiloh

• The Vicksburg Campaign

• The Battle of Chattanooga

• Grant as Commander in Chief

• The Destruction of the Confederacy: Spottsylvania to Cold Harbor

• The Destruction of the Confederacy: Petersburg to Appomattox

• Grant as Strategist

• Grant and Lee

• Grant, the Underappreciated President

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2006

    A Poorly Written Book

    The author, John Mosier, has apparently set out to deify Ulysses Grant. Not satisfied with the simple facts of Grant's successes, he makes up new ones to inflate the man's already outstanding career. One example is the battle of Belmont, in November of 1861. Mosier states Grant's forces as '..about 12,000 men: five regiments of infantry, a battery of artillery, and a troop of cavalry...' In the 'Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant' the forces are '..a little over 3,000 men and embraced five regiments of infantry, two guns and two companies of cavalry.' The author proceeds to describe the battle,saying that 'The North needed something it could call a victory, and the Belmont raid provided it.' Yet Grant in his memoirs states 'Belmont was severely criticised in the North as a wholly unnecessary battle, barren of results, or the possibility of them from the beginning.' Again, describing the Battle of the Crater during the siege of Petersburg, he states that 'Grant himself had to wade into the melee and order the assault called off.' This was an eye- opener for me, and a fact apparently overlooked by such authors as Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote. The author also indulges in extraneous and often irrelevant comparisons to battles after the Civil War. In this case, 'The aftermath of the Petersburg mine explosion should have warned the generals of the First World War why mine warfare was unworkable.' I think any serious student of both the Civil War and the First World War will find the comparison to be erroneous. A great deal of the book is spent, as I noted, in making comparisons to post- Civil War battles and many other commanders. It breaks the flow of the narrative, and would only be confusing to a layman wanting to find out about Grant. It's as if the author wants to underscore his knowledge and authority on the subject by name- dropping as often as possible ( see, I know what I'm talking about because I can bring up the raid on Dieppe and Gallipoli! ). The examples I have given do not cover the depth to which page after page is filled with these comparisons, distortions, and misrepresentations of the facts, all towards trying to over- inflate the already exciting and successful story of U. S. Grant. A knowledgeable person might read it as a bad example of military history and biography. Those not knowledgeable should avoid it like the plague, and seek a better source for their facts and enjoyment.

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