Ulysses S. Grant: An Album

Overview

Acclaimed historian William S. McFeely has assembled a dramatic collection of images that reveals the contours of the life of Ulysses S. Grant in a way not previously imagined. Organized around seven colorful and revealing essays, Ulysses S. Grant: An Album offers fresh insights, both visual and written, into one of American history's most important generals and presidents. Here, McFeely uses newspapers, portraits, photographs, paintings, sketches, and cartoons to examine and ...
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Overview

Acclaimed historian William S. McFeely has assembled a dramatic collection of images that reveals the contours of the life of Ulysses S. Grant in a way not previously imagined. Organized around seven colorful and revealing essays, Ulysses S. Grant: An Album offers fresh insights, both visual and written, into one of American history's most important generals and presidents. Here, McFeely uses newspapers, portraits, photographs, paintings, sketches, and cartoons to examine and illuminate Grant, both the private man and the public figure.

What emerges is not only a narratively engaging text but also a portrait as full and detailed as the many photographs taken over the course of Grant's life. At once intimate and scholarly, nuanced and authoritative, Ulysses S. Grant: An Album traces Grant's extraordinary life from his boyhood home in Georgetown, Ohio, across from his father's tannery, to his years at West Point and his brilliant career as a soldier, documenting his first triumph at Fort Donelson, his crucial victory at Vicksburg, and the costly battle of Cold Harbor.

McFeely also presents, in rich detail, Grant's family history, chronicling his love for his wife, Julia, their many homes -- from the proudly hand-built Hardscrabble to the White House -- and their momentous trip around the world. Grant the thinker, a man struggling with slavery and the meaning of freedom, emerges in other essays, as does Grant the author, writing his exhaustively detailed personal memoirs. Throughout the pages of Ulysses S. Grant: An Album, McFeely is, as ever, a scrupulous and learned guide.

A handsome volume that will appeal to enthusiasts and scholars alike, Ulysses S. Grant: An Album offers a wealth of images, along with a splendid text, that illuminate the man and his times in a way that words alone cannot.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of General Grant now offers this "album" of his life and works. The selection of 100 photographs and illustrations (deserving praise goes to researcher Neil Giordano) is superior, considering that only one pre-Civil War photograph of Grant exists. They do, however, lack captions, and the descriptions of them in the text are not always properly placed for easy identification. The text presents other problems: not all of McFeely's seven essays on different aspects of Grant-emancipator, fond husband, photographic subject, world traveler, author of a superb autobiography-are equally well composed, and the pieces on Grant's opposition to slavery don't say enough about how he managed Reconstruction as president. The author also goes to the lengths of referring to Julia Grant as "silly" without supporting his case. The essay on the photographs of Grant is concise and cogent, however, and includes some wartime magazine illustrations that have to be seen to be believed. McFeely also does full justice to Grant's memoirs. One has the feeling that the author returned to this familiar subject as something of a labor of love, without conceding anything to the novice student of Grant or the Civil War. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Twenty-two years after publishing his Pulitzer Prize-winning Grant: A Biography, McFeely has again turned his attention to this captivating American icon, whose life, replete with supreme triumphs and stinging failures, seems so emblematic of the age. McFeely has assembled a photo collection focusing on the issues, people, and events that shaped Grant and upon which he left his own indelible imprint. The seven topical chapters, while not strictly chronological, span Grant's entire life and include an insightful examination of his marriage to Julia Dent and an interesting portrayal of how his meteoric rise in the Union army was reflected in press photographs. A recurring theme is the plight of black Americans and the impact their struggle had upon Grant, especially as a general and President. McFeely examines Grant's paradoxical attitude toward blacks, at times so ambivalent and at others so actively supportive. While not as satisfying as Lawrence Frost's more comprehensive and amply illustrated Grant: A Pictorial Biography (o.p.), McFeely's critical insights into Grant's life will interest Civil War enthusiasts. Recommended for large public libraries.-Edward Metz, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Ft. Leavenworth, KS Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762887729
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.35 (w) x 10.55 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

William S. McFeely, the Abraham Baldwin Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, at the University of Georgia, is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning biography Grant. He lives in Wellfleet and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 "Attributed to Slavery": Grant and the Meaning of the Civil War 3
2 Love Story: Julia and Ulyss 29
3 Presenting a General: Photographers at Work 47
4 "No Pen Portray": Grant and the Meaning of War 65
5 Havens and Houses: The Peripatetic Grants 83
6 Waifs Abroad: Around the World with General Grant 101
7 Grant's Book: Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant 127
Acknowledgments 139
Illustrations and Credits 141
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