Item description for Ulysses S. Grant: Soldier & President (Modern Library Paperbacks) by Geoffrey Perret...
Overview Traces the life of the Civil War general and eighteenth president of the United States and assesses his major accomplishments
Publishers Description Ulysses S. Grant was, writes Geoffrey Perret, "the man who taught the army how to fight". Based on extensive research, Perret's biography explains more clearly than ever before how Grant's military genius triumphed as he created a new approach to battle. Woven through Perret's exploration of Grant as soldier and president is the author's portrait of the American hero as a person: Grant's frustrating studies at West Point, his courtship of Julia Dent, his days of poverty, which he spent building a lopsided house he called Hardscrabble, are all as fully presented as Perret's tactical analysis to make a "fast-paced, highly readable narrative" (James I. Robertson).
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Studio: Modern Library
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.99" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.44" Weight: 1.81 lbs.
Release Date Dec 29, 1998
Publisher Modern Library
Edition Modern Library
ISBN 037575220X ISBN13 9780375752209
Availability 0 units.
More About Geoffrey Perret
Geoffrey Perret was eductaed at Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of the acclaimed books Ulysses S. Grant and Eisenhower. He lives in England with his wife.
Geoffrey Perret currently resides in Beverley, East Yorkshire.
Reviews - What do customers think about Ulysses S. Grant: Soldier & President (Modern Library Paperbacks)?
Lee Couldn't Hold a Candle to Him Dec 10, 2007
By far the finest field commander produced by the North or South during the US Civil War, US Grant saved the Union and delivered our country as we know it today. Reviled in the South as a butcher and thought of as a drunk in the North, Hiram Ulysses Grant is possibly the finest general ever produced by the United States of America, and one of its worst Presidents.
Geoffrey Perret pulls no punches in this biography. Grant failed in private life before re-entering the Army, and he says so; Grant failed in several of his early campaigns, Belmont for one, and was stunningly surprised at Shiloh, and he says so; and his Presidency was riddled with corruption, and again, Perret says so. But despite his many failures this tenacious, never-say-die individual had the backbone and determination to defeat every Confederate General he was to face and captured 3 complete Confederate Armies intact, in the field: Fort Donnelson, Vicksburg, and the vaunted Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. And he damn near bagged Bragg in middle Tennessee. To put these accomplishments in perspective, no other General Officer, North or South, captured even one.
This is a good, workman-like biography of the first modern general the US ever produced. Perret does an excellent job of focusing on his subject, Grant, and does not spend too much time analyzing his campaigns. As a result, the author moves the reader topically through Grant's life experiences and we get to know him as an individual. Intensely interesting, this work's 476 pages simply fly by. Despite the 8 miserable years of his failed Presidency and his subsequent Wall Street bankruptcy, in true Grant fashion, he works diligently to complete his memoirs, does so and restores his family's fortune 8 days before he dies. His was a most remarkable life.
Good, workmanlike biography of U. S. Grant Jul 12, 2007
He was born Hiram Ulysses Grant in 1822 (how he became Ulysses S. Grant is a story in itself). This book, by Geoffrey Perret, is a good workmanlike biography of Grant.
It depicts his childhood and his journey to West Point. It discusses his marriage to Julia (with James Longstreet and Cadmus Wilcox, ironically, as two of his three groomsmen; they would be on opposing sides in the Civil War). It describes his service in the military--including some genuinely courageous behavior in the Mexican War. It also lays out his failures in the Army and his departure. His struggles in Missouri and then working in a family business in Galena, Illinois.
Then, with the outbreak of the Civil War, his opportunity to rejoin the Army and become an officer. The book traces his unassuming rise in the Union Army, from early efforts at Belmont through Forts Henry and Donelson to Shiloh to Vicksburg and so on. Ultimately, of course, he came to command all Union forces and attained the exalted rank of Lieutenant General.
After his work in the Civil War, his presidency is discussed, warts and all. Perret's view is somewhat more nuanced than those of others who have evaluated Grant's terms as President. Nonetheless, his failings are described.
Finally, his desperate dash in the race against death to complete his memoirs and secure some degree of financial security for his family.
This is not a great biography, but it is serviceable and is a nice addition to the literature on Grant.
Facts? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Facts! Jul 10, 2003
This book is truly an astonishing piece of work. Considering its grotesque factual errors and bizarre misreadings of source material (more than I have ever seen in a single work of non-fiction,) the pompous writing style, the author's grating tendency to make childishly snide (and irrelevant) side comments, and--most bafflingly--the remarkable hatchet-job he does on Grant's wife Julia, I think I can state unhesitatingly that this is the most thoroughly unprofessional biography of anyone I have ever read. I find myself genuinely baffled that Perret evidently still has a career as a historian.
As appalled as I am by the thought that readers who had no prior knowledge about Grant will be led to take some of this tripe seriously, I am even more stunned by reviewers who state unblushingly that Perret's allergy to accuracy does not matter, as long as he is pro-Grant and writes in what is, to them, an appealing writing style! There are few people who defend Grant more wholeheartedly than I do (hey, I even maintain he was a pretty good President,) but I believe that a bad defense of USG can, in the long run, be as damaging to his reputation as no defense at all. My advice to Grant neophytes? Read the man's own words, in his acclaimed memoirs and fascinating private letters, as well as first person accounts like "Campaigning With Grant," and give this silliness a wide berth.
And those cracks of his about Julia REALLY set my teeth on edge.
A Fabulous Biography Mar 13, 2003
There are already several reviews of this book printed here, with which I agree heartily, so I'll keep my comments brief. Perret's "Ulysses S. Grant, Soldier and President," is the twelfth book on Grant that I've read (I can't seem to get enough of this topic). Perret's writing is crisp and intelligent. He doesn't drag out his thesis in long jumbled sentences, rather, he keeps his reader focused on the point he is trying to make on each phase of Grant's personal and professional life. He exposes flaws in previous Grant biographies by proving their lack of documented evidence and holding the authors to task for their shoddy scholarship. At the same time, he does not give the impression that he intends to "show up" other Grant biographers, he just sets the record straight.
I recommend this biography to anyone who wants to understand America in the Nineteenth century. Ulysses S. Grant is the key: he saved the Union, he fought for the rights of the freedmen during Reconstruction, he was always honest-though he did make his share of mistakes - and when he erred, he accepted the responsibility for his mistakes. Grant was a devoted family man, was loyal to his friends and forgiving of his enemies. He was humble and appeared ordinary, yet he achieved amazing things. Perret's most insightful point in this work is his statement that Grant's religion was patiotism. I agree. No one ever loved this country more.
Biography by American Military Historian Adds Perspective! Aug 29, 2002
Geoffrey Perret's previous work, "A Country Made By War," which is a general military history of the United States, gives him the background to put the military career of Grant in perspective. He worked closely with the editor of Grant's papers to acquire the background to write this biography. His short chapters don't go into great details on individual battles, but capture well the development of Grant's personality, generalship, and presidency. J.F.C. Fuller's "Grant and Lee" and "The Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant" go into greater detail in analyzing the military strategy, strengths and weaknesses, of Grant's command both in the Western and Eastern theaters. But Perret's book is well worth reading. He captures the spirit of Grant well.