Ulysses S. Grant worked with Red Cloud, chief of the Lakota Sioux, to create an arguably more humane Indian policy--"no president could have done more," argues Geoffrey Perret, whose reassessment of Grant as a politician is his biography's finest achievement. Not that he scants his subject's military genius; the relentless, aggressive campaigns that won the Civil War are skillfully outlined and analyzed. Grant emerges in this nuanced portrait as a quintessential American: he is depicted as a restless rover perpetually in search of "movement, drama, adventure." Firmly situated in his time, he nonetheless seems a strikingly modern man.
From Library Journal
Often dismissed as a butcher general who won his battles by force of numbers, Grant recently has found favor among historians who appreciate his genius in adapting Americans to modern war. Military historian Perret (Old Soldiers Never Die, LJ 3/15/96) joins the march. He paints Grant as a man of no show but much private passion who won by understanding how armies worked and by using the resources at hand. Perret offers some new information and insight into Grant's private life and character but does not advance much in terms of Grant's generalship, the nature of war, or an understanding of the age. Weak in political and social history but strong on the military side, Perret's readable book does not match up with William McFeely's largely negative biography, Grant (LJ 2/15/87), or Brooks Simpson's adulatory Let Us Have Peace (Univ. of North Carolina, 1991), but it does give a balanced view. For large public and academic libraries.-?Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
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