Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero (Eminent Lives Series)

Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero (Eminent Lives Series)

3.8 8
by Michael Korda
     
 

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The first officer since George Washington to become a four-star general in the United States Army, Ulysses S. Grant was a man who managed to end the Civil War on a note of grace, and was the only president between Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson to serve eight consecutive years in the White House. The son of an Ohio tanner, he has long been remembered as a

Overview

The first officer since George Washington to become a four-star general in the United States Army, Ulysses S. Grant was a man who managed to end the Civil War on a note of grace, and was the only president between Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson to serve eight consecutive years in the White House. The son of an Ohio tanner, he has long been remembered as a brilliant general but a failed president whose second term ended in financial and political scandal. But now acclaimed, bestselling author Michael Korda offers a dramatic reconsideration of the man, his life, and his presidency. Ulysses S. Grant is an evenhanded and stirring portrait of a flawed leader who nevertheless ably guided America through a pivotal juncture in its history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060755218
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/05/2009
Series:
Eminent Lives Series
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
294,715
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 3.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Korda is the author of Ulysses S. Grant, Ike, Hero, and Charmed Lives. Educated at Le Rosey in Switzerland and at Magdalen College, Oxford, he served in the Royal Air Force. He took part in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and on its fiftieth anniversary was awarded the Order of Merit of the People's Republic of Hungary. He and his wife, Margaret, make their home in Dutchess County, New York.

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Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written in compact prose. Korda's sympathy for Grant is evident throughout, yet he doesn't shy from Grant's failings. A wonderful story artfully told.
LordVader More than 1 year ago
It was interesting to learn about the essence of US Grant in a mere 176 pages rather than having to wade through a much larger book. I plan to read more books by Korda.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read Grant's Memoirs and several other biographies of the general. To me they are all great readings. I am surprised that Michael Korda did not do for Grant what he did for IKE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), says Michael Korda, was an 'unlikely hero.' He was, writes Korda, 'thin-skinned, sensitive, and burdened with the inferiority complex of a boy who had been brought up by harsh and distant parents, made fun of at school, been passed over for promotion in the army, failed at every attempt to make money or improve his situation, and eventually settled into life as a clerk in his father's store and the town drunk until the Civil War came along and saved him.' The author portrays Grant as one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest, of American military leaders. And while Grant was one of our weaker presidents, says Korda, he succeeded in keeping the nation at peace during troubled times. The book discusses Grant's years at West Point, his service in the Mexican War, his marriage to Julia Dent, and the birth of their four children: Frederick, Ulysses Junior, Nellie, and Jesse. Grant was born on April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio. In May 1860, after the dismal failure of numerous business enterprises, he moved to Galena, Illinois, and accepted a clerkship in his father's leather store. He died on July 23, 1885, at Mt. McGregor, New York, only a week or so before completing his monumental Memoirs. Of course, the main reason we are still fascinated with Grant today is because of his military genius in the horrific conflict of the Civil War. Korda points out that nearly 625,000 Americans were killed in the Civil War, compared to 400,000 in World War II and 58,000 in Vietnam. Korda follows Grant from Fort Henry (on the Tennessee River), Fort Donelson (on the Cumberland River), Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing), Vicksburg, Chattanooga (Missionary Ridge), Cold Harbor, the siege of Petersburg, and his pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia to Appomattox Court House, the venue of Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender. Grant saw clearly (as did Lincoln) that the only way to win the war was to keep pounding away relentlessly and doggedly at the enemy. On Feb. 16, 1862, he sent a stern missive to Gen. S. B. Buckner, commander of Fort Donelson (near Dover, Tennessee): 'No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.' On May 11, 1864, in 'the Wilderness' near Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, Grant sent a dispatch to Washington: 'I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.' And on Aug. 1, 1864, writing from City Point, Virginia, Grant sent this dispatch to Gen. Henry W. Halleck: 'Wherever the enemy goes let our troops go also.' Although Grant's presidency was embroiled in scandal, Korda insists that Grant was honest to a fault, but too naive and trusting of others. Grant emerges as a decent, honorable, and likable man. And Korda's concise biography of Grant should appeal even to those who are not Civil War buffs. A final point should be emphasized. Korda's assessment of Grant is constantly compared to the leaders of World War II and to the present war in the Middle East ('Operation Iraqi Freedom'). The latter comparison is inferred rather than explicit, but Korda's meaning is unmistakable. Grant left some important words of wisdom for us today, imploring us to resist the arrogant encroachments of a theocratic fundamentalism: 'Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separate.' Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero launches the Eminent Lives Series from HarperCollins. Forthcoming volumes include studies of Alexander the Great, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexis de Tocqueville, William Shakespeare, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Sigmund Freud. Roy E. Perry of Nolensville (rperry1778@aol.com) is an advertising copywriter at a Nashville publishing house. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Korda, who served in the British armed forces, is editor-in-chief of Simon & Schust
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laced with subjective comments, devoid of critical analysis, and brimming with the author's overt fascination with the Duke of Wellington. At best - I would recommend this as an introductory biography of GEN Grant for middle school readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago