Ulysses S Grant: Triumph Over Adversity 1822-1865 review ¿ 104

characters ☆ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ↠ Brooks D. Simpson

Ulysses S Grant Triumph Over Adversity 1822 1865Washington Lincoln Grant these were once the triumvirate of American nationalism But like his tomb on the Hudson Grant's reputation has fallen into disrepair The image many Americans hold of him is a caricature someone uniuely stupid an insensitive butcher as a general an incompetent mediocrity as president and a drunk Several efforts to counter this stereotype have often gone too far in the other direction resulting in an eually distorted laudatory portrait of near perfection In reading the original sources Brooks D Simpson became convinced that Grant was neither a bumbling idio. The book that nuanced the current wave of Grant hagiography Compared to the rest it is the best of the breed in terms of research and analysis

Brooks D. Simpson ↠ 4 review

Struction of slavery Eually compelling is Grant's personal story one of a man who struggled against great odds bad luck and personal humiliation who sought joy and love in the arms of his wife and his children and who was determined to overcome adversity and prevail over his detractors None of our public men have a story so strange as this Owen Wister once observed; agreeing William T Sherman remarked that Grant remained a mystery even to himself In the first of two volumes Brooks Simpson brings Grant's story to life in an account that is readable balanced compelling and definiti. excellent book on Grant very good read

characters Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865

Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865 review ¿ 104 Ô Washington Lincoln Grant these were once the triumvirate of American nationalism But like his tomb on the Hudson Grant's reputation has fallen into disrepair The image many Americans hold of him is a caricature someone uniuely stupid an insensitive buT who was the darling of fortune nor a flawless general who could do no wrong Rather he was a tangle of opposing ualities a relentless warrior but a generous victor a commander who drew upon uncommon common sense in drafting campaign plans and in winning battles a soldier so sensitive to suffering that he could not stand to see the bloody hides at his father's tannery a man who made mistakes and sometimes learned from them Even as he waged war he realized the broader political implications of the struggle; he came to believe that the preservation of the Union depended upon the de. Simpson’s “Ulysses S Grant Triumph Over Adversity 1822 1865” was published in 2000 and is the first of two expected volumes on Grant’s life Simpson is a historian and professor at Arizona State University He has written a half dozen books and is a noted authority on the Civil War and ReconstructionBecause a second volume is or at least once was anticipated this book does not cover Grant’s presidency or the drafting of his memoirs in the last weeks of his life But neither does Simpson spend much time on Grant’s formative childhood or early life The majority of the book is focused on his nearly two decade long military career almost 80% it to just his service in the Civil WarUnlike earlier Grant biographer William McFeely Professor Simpson is favorably disposed toward his subject Fortunately his fondness never seems far out of balance On the contrary Simpson’s analysis seems remarkably balanced and rarely does he fail to take Grant to task for his strategic blunders or personal failingsAfter seeming to rush through Grant’s early years Simpson’s narrative comes alive with the onset of the Civil War The biography is at its best while exploring the complex web of military and social politics Grant was forced to navigate during the war Here Simpson offers a compelling study of Grant’s often skillful management of his superiors other senior military leaders and his troopsBut beyond exploring Grant’s interactions with military and political leaders and his management of troops in the field this biography is a well researched study of Grant’s response to his own personal setbacks and failures This is essentially an analysis of how Grant rose from relative obscurity and often abysmal failure to become the Union’s greatest military generalTwo sections of the book are particularly strong The chapters covering Grant’s move to the Eastern Theater are riveting though probably detailed than some readers will appreciate The description of Grant’s pursuit of Lee across Virginia to the Confederate surrender at Appomattox is particularly fascinating But Simpson’s last chapter summarizing the forces behind Grant’s rise from failed farmer and shopkeeper to military hero may be the most compellingBut while the book is uite well written and academically rigorous little of its content will seem new to readers familiar with Grant or the Civil War Ignoring differences in interpretation I recall seeing little in Simpson’s narrative that I had not previously read While this is disappointing to someone reading multiple biographies of Grant it is of less concern to someone choosing this book as their “one” Grant biography to readBecause the bulk of this book is focused on Grant’s actions during the Civil War it is not surprising that Simpson’s descriptions of the various military campaigns involving Grant are highly detailed Unfortunately while Simpson is an expert historian he is not always a natural storyteller and the narrative surrounding most of the battles is relatively sterile and antiseptic Battles described by Simpson almost seem to be in black and while while the same scenes captured by Grant biographer Geoffrey Perret are far colorful and vividAlso lacking is a consistent effort by Simpson to provide historical context The biography is narrowly focused on Grant and his immediate surroundings including whichever friends family advisors and others happen to be interacting with him at a given moment Conseuently there is relatively little acknowledgment of the national or global political scene – or even of great battles taking place away from Grant For readers with a strong history background this is not an issue but for others it is like watching Grant through a very narrow lensOverall Simpson’s analysis of Grant’s life from birth through the end of the Civil War is a valuable if not entirely uniue study Rather than uncovering significant new material Simpson re interprets old information from a slightly different perspective While his explanation for Grant’s rise to military greatness is compelling the second volume in this series has never appeared Absent Simpson’s explanation for General Grant’s subseuent failure as president the first volume alone cannot replace a cradle to grave biography of Grant for readers seeking a broad understanding of his entire lifeOverall rating 3¾ stars