- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero (Eminent Lives) Paperback – Bargain Price, May 5, 2009
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
That being said, this would be a reasonable book to give a 8th grader to hopefully interest him in American history. The writing is crisp and the prose flows easily.
Author Korda essentially relies on two (count 'em, TWO) sources for most of his work; the highly controversial McFeely with its many errors and the 1928 work by Woodward. It does not seem as though Korda read Grant's superb autobiography, but he presents a very sympathetic portrait of Grant that might inspire further interest in his subject.
The best parts of the book are the author's depiction of Grant's childhood, his personal bravery, rock-solid marriage, liberal attitudes (at a time when the Republicans were liberal and the Democrats conservative), and the close of his life when he wrote his autobiography. It is well-known that Grant was an abject business failure, putting the interests of others over his own, and showing a great deal of undeserved trust and loyalty. Although Grant was an extreme example of a military man unable to function as a civilian businessman, one should remember that others such as Patton, Eisenhower, Pershing, Lee etc, were never so tested. An uncommonly brave man, Grant saw and understood the tragedies of war and in spite of personal feelings was able to do his duty to the best of his abilities.Read more ›
Secondly, I don't think that the book does a good job of supporting many of its conclusions. For example, while admittedly more a matter of opinion, the book characterizes Grant's military strategy as one of attrition, largely ignoring both the political subtexts and the actual elements of Grant's strategy to bring the war to conclusion. There is a rather naïve discussion of General Butler's political standing and none as to why it was politically expedient to leave him in his command during the 1864 election, a decision with tremendous and disastrous impact on the campaign against Richmond and the army of Northern Virginia. There is no discussion of Bank's efforts in Texas, or of the initial failures of Hunter's campaign in the Shenandoah Valley although all of these were elements of or affected Grant's strategic vision. There is no discussion as to why Grant chose to move on Lee's right rather than his left - certainly an issue that would give the reader an insight into Grant's ability to integrate both military and political variables into his campaign strategy.
All in all a jejune, disappointing book not worth the candle.
Fans of Robert E. Lee may well argue about the "greatest", the blunt fact is that Grant understood Lee better than Lee understood Grant. Korda makes the point again and again that Grant, except on rare occasions, was able to correctly assess battlefield conditions and quickly exploit every indication of weakness.
Grant was bitterly criticized as a butcher, similar to Gen. George "Blood and Guts" Patton in World War II. Veterans of Patton's armies have told me Patton's success was based on "his guts, our blood". But I've yet to meet anyone who regrets having served with Patton. The same is true of Grant; good soldiers always praise a general who wins, dead soldiers don't complain.
Grant understood that victory meant killing enough soldiers to make the Confederate states quit. He understood the war was won at Gettysburg; just as Gen. Dwight Eisenhower knew World War II was won in Normandy. The tragic legacy of Grant is that too many generals since then have copied his "butcher" qualities without understanding his tactical brilliance; thus the appalling slaughter of World War I.
Grant was the perfect American success story; literally a "barefoot" buy who rose to command the armies of the nation and then serve two terms in the White House. He was also the "perfect" American because of his absolute trust in the essential goodness, decency and honesty of others; politicians and business people took cynical and unlimited advantage of these qualities, which left his administration mired in the deep stink of scandal.
In war, Gen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great. Well researched and good eco sure of his tAlents and personality. If Lincoln had t chosen him for Civil War how would it have ended???? Read morePublished 17 days ago by kay fulnecky
Not a long book but it presents a well fleshed out portrait of Grant. Humorous sometimes and always interesting. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Monique
A very slight biography of former General of the Army and President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jim Daniels
A little shallow as a biography, but he captures the essence of gen'l grant and his greatness. Certainly worth readingPublished 10 months ago by chet brewer
This is a slight book, but it does not claim to be more. As a basic introduction to the life of Ulysses Grant, once the most famous person in the world and now essentially... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Adam Wayne
Magnificent, as Korda always is... These quick histories never disappoint, and I keep Korda's particular biography of Grant close at hand for my own writing and just the sheer... Read morePublished 11 months ago by kmhorgan
Concise portrayal of U S Grant much appreciated after reading Kordas lengthy but excellent book about Robert E Lee.Published 12 months ago by JEFF ROSS
Book arrived and was new in appearance. No library book here -- clean & crisp. Content: concise & fun to read. Michael Korda picked U. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Rob W.