Item description for Grant by Jean Edward Smith...
Overview Arguing that Grant has been underrated by historians, the author seeks to correct the record with this new assessment of the celebrated Civil War general and Reconstruction-era president.
Publishers Description Ulysses S. Grant was the first four-star general in the history of the United States Army and the only president between Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson to serve eight consecutive years in the White House. As general in chief, Grant revolutionized modern warfare. As president, he brought stability to the country after years of war and upheaval. Yet today Grant is remembered as a brilliant general but a failed president. In this comprehensive biography, Jean Edward Smith reconciles these conflicting assessments of Grant's life. He argues convincingly that Grant is greatly underrated as a president. Following the turmoil of Andrew Johnson's administration, Grant guided the nation through the post-Civil War era, overseeing Reconstruction in the South and enforcing the freedoms of new African-American citizens. His presidential accomplishments were as considerable as his military victories, says Smith, for the same strength of character that made him successful on the battlefield also characterized his years in the White House.
Citations And Professional Reviews Grant by Jean Edward Smith has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 997
New York Times - 04/14/2002 page 24
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 89
Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2002 page 456
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 787
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Studio: Simon & Schuster
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.14" Width: 6.17" Height: 1.38" Weight: 1.95 lbs.
Release Date Apr 9, 2002
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0684849275 ISBN13 9780684849270
Availability 0 units.
More About Jean Edward Smith
Jean Edward Smith is the author of twelve books, including the highly acclaimed biographies Grant (a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist and a New York Times Notable Book), John Marshall: Definer of a Nation (a New York Times Notable Book), and Lucius D. Clay: An American Life (a New York Times Notable Book). A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University, Smith taught at the University of Toronto thirty-five years before joining the faculty at Marshall University, where he is the John Marshall Professor of Political Science.
I really loved this book. What a great General he was. Very underrated President. Should be ranked right up there. His battlefield skills saved the country.
Grant Moves Again. Dec 16, 2007
After reading Professor Smith's Grant biography, two apparent things come to mind: the same cult of ignorance that has removed George Washington and Eisenhower from the lips of children and TV ditto-heads was responsible for the "overlooking" of this great leader; and, they, the racist, largely-white Establishment is on the march as we wage unnecessary war today with clue-less leaders in charge. This southern biography in one volume does great justice to that 19th Century and our 21st Century that stands on a precipice,serving as a trumpet call-to-arms. From the middle of Grant's memoirs at Vicksburg, I went headlong into this thrilling read, moved many times by its revelations,riveting insertions of quotes that dramatize the action with tremendous clarity. Insightful, balanced and engrossing from beginning to end. Clearly, U.S. Grant was forgotten by those whose sensibilities were offended that one man could be charged with being a Negro-lover, Indian-lover and a unifier. And for once, Jean Edward Smith got it right: the man who masters the battlefield challenges can deftly handle the administrative ones as well, without the meddling of professional politicians and slicksters. Until reading this biography, I was led to believe that the Confederacy was more noble defending the genteel plantation ways and pleasantries against the crudities of Northern pride. Like, how dare they attack Miss Scarlett! The Civil War was much larger than Margaret Mitchell, and Jean Smith builds this biography to a deeper understanding about the war and its cost. Not only does Grant rise in dimension, but he levels off and enjoys a special relationship with Lincoln that is unique and illuminating, before moving into his White House years and retirement.If one needs to know why leadership is empty in the Executive Branch since Eisenhower, you need not look beyond the enemies of Grant's legacy. The standards of conduct,on and off the battlefield, by all participants, their levels of understanding of the cause, especially their civility was so moving and numerous that one is shocked to return to 21st century conduct. There is much to admire about those times and the great man, U.S. Grant. Read this, keep it and learn plenty.
Cautions on the Kindle Edition Dec 3, 2007
This is an excellent and highly readable biography of Grant. However if you are considering the Kindle edition, note that there are some transcription problems:
* Footnotes have been transcribed as inline paragraphs within the main text flow. They are normally included closely after the relevant paragraph, but they sometimes lag by a screen (or even two) and in one place surfaced in a prior screen.
* The maps have been omitted.
* The full original index is included. But since it includes neither hyperlinks to the text, nor Kindle locations, nor even paper page numbers, it is essentially useless.
* The paper version uses indented paragraphs to indicate extended quotes. Unfortunately these show up as normal undistinguished paragraphs in the Kindle version, so I was sometimes surprised to discover I was in a quote, or that I had left one.
* There are also occasional minor transcription glitches such as words being erroneously joined together or erroneously split apart; or sentences erroneously broken into separate paragraphs. But these are relatively minor.
Note that most of these issues aren't due to the Kindle itself: for example it handle footnotes and textual links just fine. The issues are mostly with how this particular book has been converted.
I don't want to overstate the issues: the book is still quite readable in the Kindle edition, and suitable for (say) travel reading. However the various glitches are sufficiently annoying (and the book sufficiently good!) that I have ended up also buying a hardcover version, for browsing and reference.
For the biography itself 5 stars. For the Kindle transcription, only two.
Great Biography Sep 27, 2007
This is one of the most fascinating books i've read in a while. Smith has a clear grasp of Grant's life. Both his virtues and flaws are given equal attention. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in either the Civil War or the Presidency.
Absolutely Superb Jul 22, 2007
Quite simply, this is one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read. Not only is Grant's life utterly fascinating, but Smith is one of the best writers I've come across. I find it incredible that Candace Scott could say the pacing of this book is poor - it's the most well-paced history-oriented book I've read in my life! It does, as other reviewers note, read like a novel - an action novel. Other great books on similar topics, such as Battle Cry of Freedom, are not quite as readable as this.
This is no hagiography. Grant's flaws are all laid bare. But in the end, Smith does an outstanding job of enlightening us as to how, and why, Ulysses S. Grant was both a great - and a good - man. Biographers who have maligned Grant have done him and our nation a terrible disservice. You cannot read this book and conclude other than that we are all incredibly lucky to have had Grant when we did - he saved our nation several times over.
My only lament about this book is that it is too short. As engaging as it is, it could easily have been another 200 pages. I would like to have seen more on Grant's early life, more about his familiy life (there is next to nothing about his relations with his children), more on his view of and interaction with (if there was any) Lee after the war, more on his presidency and most of all, more on the last years of Grant's life. This section was clearly rushed by the author, for whatever reason. The first mention of any health problem comes just four pages before the end of the book, and there is no treatment of how the nation or Grant's friends and colleagues reacted to his death. What did the papers say? What did Sherman, Sheridan, Johnston and Longstreet say?
The rushed ending is a definite detraction from the book, so I would give it 4.5 stars. But don't hesitate to buy this book immediately. It will captivate you from the first paragraph.
Note: Cigar aficionados will appreciate Smith's innumerable references to cigars, cigar smoke and tobacco! This is a clever and funny device employed by Smith that adds to the enjoyability of this book.