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Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War Paperback – Bargain Price, October 24, 2006
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The lives of Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman are classic underdog stories. Both of these "obscure failures" experienced more disappointment than success prior to the start of the Civil War. By 1861, they had each resigned from the U.S. Army and failed in several civilian pursuits between them, including farming, real estate, retail, and banking. Further, Grant was known as a drunk and Sherman was labeled insane. But once they threw themselves into the war effort, their best traits and talents began to reveal themselves. Even their motives were similar--both men joined the war not to eradicate slavery but to hold the Union together, believing that secession was equal to treason. This dual biography gracefully reveals how the two men grew to be "as brothers," why their partnership proved essential to victory for the Union, and how well they complemented and helped each other in their lives and careers, despite some major differences. For instance, though he possessed tremendous talent, Sherman was insecure and initially asked Abraham Lincoln never to give him a superior command. Grant, on the other hand, never doubted his ability to lead, and he quickly, if quietly, moved up the chain of command. Once he recognized Sherman's abilities, Grant made sure to keep him close, and they grew to depend upon each other completely. Through their near-daily interaction, even when separated by distance, both men honed their skills and eventually came up with a winning strategy for the war, which they executed in a brilliant two-pronged assault.
The book also discusses Grant's and Sherman's marriages, their relationships with their soldiers, and their dealings with politicians to provide well-rounded and complete portraits of these fascinating leaders. Grant and Sherman is a thoughtful portrait of the two men who "other than Lincoln... would have more to do with winning the war that preserved the Union than anyone else." --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
This dual biography of the Union's most celebrated Civil War generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, examines the partnership that effectively ended the worst bloodshed in American history. The avuncular timbre of Flood's voice fits the narrative nicely, his masculine tone sounding almost battle-worn at times. His delivery, however, feels slack and his energy is too subdued in places. Authors who narrate their own stories carry the burden of rendering fresh long-lived-in material. Often, the result is a straight read rather than vivid animation of words and characters. In Grant and Sherman, you can almost see Flood reading his sentences, reading the punctuation, pausing that full moment before quotes. The production also includes an author interview, during which Flood manages to react naturally to the artificial-sounding questions. And to his credit, he doesn't encapsulate the audiobook in his answers, but offers fresh thoughts on the topic plus insight into the genesis of his project. This is a worthy subject, but one Flood likely imparts more successfully in print.
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.
Top customer reviews
Growing up in the South, I suspect that a deep distrust of Sherman (and Grant to a lesser degree) is somehow bound to my DNA. The thick smoke of a rampaging, foraging army hasn't quite released its grip on the psyche of the New South somehow. It may be this bias that compels me to question the sincerity, at least in the early years, of Sherman's devotion to Grant. For a time at least, Sherman comes across in his correspondence as an opportunist. There seems no question though, that Grant was devoted to the friendship with Sherman, and no doubt in time Sherman shared that view. Flood might not have fully plumbed the early stages of that relationship, and it does leave a few unanswered questions. This criticism not withstanding, Flood has created an enduring study of the two generals that helped Lincoln re-constitute the United States that is well worth the read.
I had ancestors that were in the war for the north, a doctor and a soldier. They were from Pittsburgh. And I have many letters of that time about the "rebels" raids on Pittsburgh. If you have any interest in history you will love this book. Grant and Sherman were the most interesting people and this author brings them alive. I am a woman and never read about battles, but this was my first such book. I was riveted.
Had no idea that most of the generals were class mates at West Point on both sides. Read this book and you will be so glad you did.
They made this plan under the guidance of Abraham Lincoln, who fully supported these two generals who were fighting to save the Union. Indeed, they were quite complicated men with slightly varying philosophies, yet each brought out the best in the other. They became very good friends and the friendship lasted their lifetime.
Absolutely fascinating and very well sourced from primary sources of the time, as well as from letters each wrote. I couldn't put it down.