U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition

Written by Bruce Catton

A fascinating and insightful examination of the life and times of the victorious Civil War general who became a controversial American president
In U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Bruce Catton explores the life and legacy of one of the nation’s greatest and most misunderstood heroes, before, during, and after the terrible War Between the States that violently split the country in two. Beginning with Ulysses S. Grant’s youth in Ohio and his service as a young lieutenant under General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican-American War, the story continues through Grant’s post-war disgrace, his forced resignation for drinking, and his failures as a citizen farmer and salesman. But after the Civil War broke out, Grant rose from the rank of an unknown solider to commanding general of the US Army, finding redemption as the military savior of the embattled Union.
Proving his reputation as America’s premiere expert on the Civil War, Catton examines Grant’s campaigns in enthralling detail, including Fort Henry; Shiloh; the Siege of Vicksburg, which set the Confederate enemy on the inevitable road to defeat; and Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, which solidified Grant as a figure of national acclaim. Catton then explores Grant’s two-term presidency and final years, casting an illuminating new light on a complex and controversial national figure whose great accomplishments have all too often been downplayed or overlooked.



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