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Grant Takes Command Hardcover – October, 2000
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"Catton has written twelve books about the Civil War. [This biographical study] is as lively and absorbing as any." -- New York Times Book Review
"No one around can write of the 'terrible beauty of an army' the way Bruce Catton can." -- W.S. McFeely, Washington Post Book World
[Bruce Catton] is "one of the most skillful old pros that the craft [of historical narrative] has ever known." -- The Saturday Review
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Top Customer Reviews
And though by this time Halleck was no longer his superior, he could still be a somewhat difficult personality. Grant worked well with President Lincoln but Edwin Stanton - Secretary of War could also be a trial.
Very readable/enjoyable book on Grant managing the final year of the war. For a history book, a pretty decent page turner.
One thing that really struck me was how much divisiveness there was within the Army of the Potomac, and how all of this infighting often led to the failure of its commanders to take advantage of many opportunities to deal decisive blows against General Lee's army.
I found Catton's historical judgment to be sound, and I very much appreciate learning more about General Grant and learning more about the American Civil War. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Ulysses Grant, or the American Civil War.
Grant’s demeanor and writing skills were his weapons of choice. Being a pragmatic with no political ambitions he dealt with the unique problems by addressing them with curt responses or aletter to Halleck and Secretary of War Stanton.
He did what none of his predecessors could do, he devised a plan and stuck to it even when prudence would have said retreat. He knew the key to victory was keeping Lee worried about losing Richmond. Some of the battles in modern terms were a disaster as losses mounted. Think about the losses at Tarawa and you get the picture. Rather than listen to the press of the NE can soldiered on. He stuck to his plan, with the support of Lincoln and in the end, his plan proved true. There were moments where he did question his own plan, but realized in the end, it was sound.
What I didn’t know was how devoted he was to his wife and family. Most of the history I was taught about him wasn’t flattering. They never mentioned his letters to home and his undying love and concern for his family. I find this on the same level as Patton felt for his family. That’s pretty good company.
If you’re looking for a good in-depth analysis of General Grant and the battles he fought, I highly recommend it.