Grant: A Biography

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W. W. Norton & Company, Sep 1, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 592 pages
2 Reviews
The seminal biography of one of America's towering, enigmatic figures. From his boyhood in Ohio to the battlefields of the Civil War and his presidency during the crucial years of Reconstruction, this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography traces the entire arc of Grant's life (1822-1885). "A moving and convincing portrait....profound understanding of the man as well as his period and his country."—C. Vann Woodward, New York Review of Books "Clearsightedness, along with McFeely's unfailing intelligence and his existential sympathy...informs his entire biography."—Justin Kaplan, The New Republic
 

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User Review  - ksmyth - LibraryThing

This is McFeely's award winning biography of Grant. It is pretty evenly divided between his military and poltical career. A worthwhile read, though there are more recent biographies of this important military and political figure. Read full review

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If one can read through McFeely's constant personal attacks on Grant and his wife Julia, this book is indeed worthy of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for biography. From start to finish Grant is berated as someone crying out desperately to gain acceptance in a hostile world full of wealthy and intellectual superiors. McFeely records Grant’s life with utmost scrutiny as a cat watches a mouse ready to pounce. This constant critical theme makes the reading for myself at times difficult having to put the book down to take a break. When all seems dark and dreary out of nowhere comes a chapter called Greatness that brings the whole book together where McFeely seemingly let’s his own guard down briefly and actually gives credit to Grant’s second successful presidential election to office in 1872. This is a must read for any Grant enthusiast or critic. 

Contents

CROWDS AND FAMILIES
1
CADETSHIP AND COURTSHIP
13
THE MEXICAN WAR
28
A SOLDIER BETWEEN WARS
41
GALENA
58
ESCAPING FROM THE ORDINARY
67
WARRIORS
77
BATTLES
90
THE PRESIDENT AND HIS CABINET
274
ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS OF THIS LAND
305
A FRIDAY AND A FRIEND
319
ENGLAND AND SANTO DOMINGO
332
DEMOCRACY
356
GREATNESS
380
WEDDING AND WHISKEY
400
WAIFS
426

SHILOH
111
VICKSBURG
122
CHATTANOOGA
139
WASHINGTON AND THE WILDERNESS
152
PETERSBURG
174
PEACE
197
ON TO MEXICO
216
AFTER THE WAR
232
THE RISING MAN
247
AROUND THE WORLD
450
GRANT WARD
478
TO WRITE A BOOK TO BE A MAN
495
Epilogue
518
Notes
523
Selected Bibliography
561
Index
577
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About the author (2002)

William S. McFeely, the Abraham Baldwin Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, at the University of Georgia, is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning biography Grant. He lives in Wellfleet and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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