Customer Review

22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent overall look at his life., April 28, 2001
This review is from: Grant (Hardcover)
This biography does a decent job of looking at the overall life of Grant. Other biographers have focused solely on his military career. And while this biography does a decent job, it is not detailed enough to do real justice to any part of his life, when compared to other biographies. Smiths description of Grants milatary career, doesn't hold up at all compared to Catton's work. The author stops every once in a while to make some snap analyisis of what events mean, but fails to back it up as solidly as a good historian should.
Overall this isn't a bad job as an into into Grants life, it's just been done before by better historians and better writers. Read Grant's autobiography, or Catton's books on Grant.
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Initial post: Oct 30, 2013 3:08:03 AM PDT
For a single tome on Grant, Smith has done a yeoman's job of telling his story in a very detailed yet cohesive manner. Yes, five times more could have been written about him, (as others have,) but not effectually in a single volume.

Smith creates a very compelling story, which for me was quite delightful, (though I have read the other biographies.) In fact, when researching him, I normally like to start at Galena, where Grant was a simple clerk in his families dry goods store, and skip his youth, schooling, and early military career. Yet, when glimpsing these section in Smith's book, they caught me and had me reading them.

I learned more about Grant in this book than I have in others. Major kudos to the author.
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