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Grant Comes East Paperback – April 21, 2005

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Grant Comes East + Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant: The Final Victory (Gettysburg) + Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (April 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312309384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312309381
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former congressman Gingrich and historical fiction writer Forstchen once again collaborate to produce an exciting alternative history of the Civil War (after 2003's bestselling Gettysburg). This second volume finds Lee and his victorious army in Maryland, poised to assault Washington, D.C.. The Confederates hope to capture the capital and President Lincoln, bring a sympathetic Maryland into the Confederacy, gain European recognition and force the Union into peace negotiations. The Union is in a desperate situation. The capital is cut off, Northern cities are burning in the bloody draft riots and the nearest intact Union army is General Grant's western force, rushing to the east from Vicksburg. In the midst of the military chaos, sniping and bickering by generals and politicians on both sides hamper Grant and Lee. Most of Lee's tactical and strategic plans succeed, but he miscalculates Lincoln's resolve and Grant's single-mindedness. And then Grant does something so unexpected that suddenly Lee is the one on the run. Building on their strong first volume, Gingrich and Forstchen craft an original, dramatic and historically plausible "what if?" story. Character depictions—of Lincoln, Grant and Lee; of the soldiers who fight and die; and of the civilians who plot and panic—are vivid, detailed and insightful. This is one of the best novels of the Civil War to appear in recent years.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Historian and former speaker of the House of Representatives Gingrich and cowriter Forstchen, a veteran author of historical fiction, continue their new alternate-history series. It began with the eminently successful Gettysburg (2003), in which the authors reimagined the outcome of that war-turning battle of the Civil War, handing to General Lee the laurels of victory rather than the ignominy of defeat. Now, in this follow-up volume, they put their imaginative heads together to see how, since they freed the Confederates from suffering a major blow at Gettysburg, the Southerners would take advantage of the situation to further their cause on the field of battle. And what the authors come up with is as rivetingly plausible as what they devised in the previous novel. Their "invention" here centers on the Union government's bringing General Grant eastward from his recent victory in Vicksburg; of course, the immediate ramification of Lee's win at Gettysburg (see how easy it is to be seduced by these authors' version of events?) is the threatened safety of Washington, D.C.--and further down the line, the possibility of actual and official recognition of the Confederacy by the European powers. Gingrich and Forstchen's readjustments to history are notably original. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By J. Mina on June 4, 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Being a civil war buff, especially when it comes to Gettysburg, I have been anxiously awaiting this novel since I read the first of this series. What I really love is the close relationship that I, as a reader, develop with each of the main characters, regardless of which side they are on. Traditionally, I have always found myself rooting silently for the Union. However, in these books I get attached to both sides and am transported to the battlefields, sharing in the agony and the glory.
The alternate history concept is just plain fun. The many "what if" questions that have been raised and the ensuing debates about Lee's choices at Gettysburg are explored here in great depth. Dr. Forstchen's Ph.D. in civil war history is evident as well as the copius research done to prepare for these books.
As far as "Grant Comes East," is concerned, I was amazed that it was actually better than book one. To me, the sequence of events in book one were pretty predictable having hypothesized similar scenarios myself. But I never took them past the "Lee gets around Mead and heads for Washington," stage. I love being taken beyond the first day in such riveting detail.
I can't wait for book three!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jackie Tortorella VINE VOICE on June 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If Gettysburg was phenomenal, I am at a loss for adjectives after just completing Grant Comes East! I've read a lot of Civil War novels, and this was the best since The Killer Angels. Even though this was a novel, and alternate history at that, the realism was astounding! The portrayals of Lee, Grant, Longstreet, Lincoln, and Sickles were especially true to character. I found the entire premise to be plausible, the politics so insightful that I almost felt THIS was the way it really happened. There was no wild speculation or far-fetched theories to live with in this book. "Gettysburg" began the story, with the slight detour that made all the difference--Lee listened to Longstreet, formulated a better plan, and avoided the fateful defeat at Gettysburg. This worthy sequel took the war down a different path, and absolutely every aspect was handled masterfully. Gingrich and Fortschen make a great team. I hated for the book to end, but was elated to see that it's not over...there has to be at least one more masterpiece forthcoming. Newt, please stay off the talk shows long enough to write the next installment, because I CAN'T STAND THE WAIT!!!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Harold S. Wood on May 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Well written, well researched, well plotted. Second in what must be at least a trilogy leaves you waiting breathlessly for book 3. I enjoy alternate history very much and this one was one of the best I've read. I recommend you read "Gettysburg" by these authors first so as to understand where "Grant Comes East" starts at, but it can certainly be read on its own. Now I just wait (im)patiently for book 3
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Grant Comes East" is the perfect title for this novel, because that is what the novel is about. This is, of course, the second installment in the authors' alternate Civil War history. In "Gettysburg-A Novel of the Civil War" the authors tell the story of an alternate history in which Lee defeated Meade by flanking him at Gettysburg. Now, in this second novel, Lee marches on Washington and Baltimore as Grant moves to the Eastern theater to take command of Union forces after Lee's defeat of General Meade. No spoilers here.
I liked this one better than "Gettysburg-A Novel of the Civil War." I felt that the writing was better and the novel was actually more plausible. In "Gettysburg" Lee does everything right, and Meade does about everything wrong. This offended my sense of fairness, since I happen to believe that Meade thoroughly out-generalled Lee at Gettysburg, and would not have done the stupid things that "Gettysburg" has him doing. In "Grant Comes East" most of the characters act more plausibly, with foibles on both sides. The authors do paint a pretty negative picture of General Sickles. I don't know enough about him to really have an opinion as to whether this is fair or not.
The prose in the novel is good, and the authors did a good job of keeping me turning the pages--I truly wanted to know what was going to happen next, and the novel kept me guessing. The storyline moves at a very brisk pace with no draggy interludes. This one is less predictable than was "Gettysburg." Nothing offended my sense of credulity, as "Gettysburg" did at times. By the way, the authors' treatment of Lincoln is very compelling and seemed to me to be true to life.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just got around to reading "Gettysburg" by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen a couple of weeks ago and it was not until the book reached the end of the first day at the Battle of Gettysburg that I realized I was reading an alternative history of the Civil War. For that matter it was not until I read the book jacket (I hide them as soon as I buy hardcover books so that they will not give away anything) that I discovered Gingrich and Forstchen were writing a trilogy. So I was lucky in that I did not have to wait that long to read the second volume, "Grant Comes East." Now I just have to suffer a year or so until the conclusion comes out.

"Grant Comes East" is accurate as a title in that Ulysses S. Grant is ordered East by President Abraham Lincoln to take command of all Union armies and to build a new army, the Army of the Susquehanna, to engage Robert E. Lee in the Eastern Theater. However, Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia are still on center stage. Having all but destroyed the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Union Mills, the great Confederate victory south of Gettysburg on July 4, 1863, Lee has to move on Washington, D.C. and its immense fortifications. The Federal capital city may well prove too tough a nut to crack, but the Confederate general does not need President Jefferson Davis or anyone else to tell him that the Rebel army has to at least try.

It is really not fair to describe much of what happens after that point because obviously everything hinges on whether or not Lee's gambit succeeds (although I will say that I agree with how the Washington situation plays out). The military and political implications are enormous. What I can talk about is the military situation on both sides.
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