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Ulysses Grant emerges in this masterful biography as a genius in battle and a driven president to a divided country, who remained fearlessly on the side of right. He was a beloved commander in the field who made the sacrifices necessary to win the war, even in the face of criticism. He worked valiantly to protect the rights of freed men in the South. He allowed the American Indians to shape their own fate even as the realities of Manifest Destiny meant the end of their way of life. In this sweeping and majestic narrative, bestselling author H.W. Brands now reconsiders Grant's legacy and provides an intimate portrait of a heroic man who saved the Union on the battlefield and consolidated that victory as a resolute and principled political leader.
“Comprehensive, dramatic, and highly readable. . . . H.W. Brands has written an authoritative, action-packed, and well-rounded biography of a very human Ulysses S. Grant.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“Brands artfully portrays Grant as a man of his times . . . and argues, persuasively, that he played a role in settling the great questions of his time.” —The Boston Globe
“There is a magnificent unity to this story of Grant’s leadership in both war and peace that is not found anywhere else. In this compelling narrative, Grant emerges more fascinating than ever before.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
“Brands paints a vivid landscape of mid-19th-century America, filling his canvas with fascinating characters. . . . [The] prose is engaging, almost conversational, and the narrative moves briskly.” —The Wall Street Journal
“In this splendidly written biography, Brands does justice to one of America’s most underrated presidents . . . Brands is both sympathetic and thorough in his examination of Grant’s life. . . . Brands has provided a valuable service by making clear how much America owes to Ulysses Grant.” —Dallas Morning News
“Thorough, balanced, and a good read . . . Brands deserves great praise for once more attempting to put Ulysses S. Grant where he belongs, in the pantheon of American heroes.” —The Daily Beast
“What is distinctive about this distinguished biographer’s new work is its rehabilitation of President Grant, who was not only a great general who wrote memoirs worthy of comparison to Julius Caesar’s, but a great moral leader who pursued Lincoln’s agenda of re-unifying the nation and integrating its former slaves into one indivisible nation.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A well-done effort to portray one of the most important and insufficiently appreciated American figures of the 19th century.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Compelling. . . . An extraordinarily well-written survey of Grant’s life that aims to rehabilitate his image. . . . [Brands] offers exciting prose and fresh perspective on Grant that will make readers want to learn more.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A treat for history buffs and anyone else who enjoys a life story well-told. . . . Richly detailed and deeply moving, The Man Who Saved the Union has a you-are-there quality thanks to its carefully drawn sketches of people and places.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“Fascinating. . . . The author describes numerous battles and campaigns in chilling and heartbreaking detail. His management of source material is impeccable as he mixes letters from soldiers with orders, memoranda and official communiqués from Washington.” —Bookreporter
“Once again, H. W. Brands has crafted a wonderful portrait of a great leader who endured and prevailed in hours of stress and strain. Brands’s U. S. Grant is a compelling figure, a man too often overlooked by history. This book rectifies that with grace and insight.” —Jon Meacham, author of American Lion, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for biography
“Too frequently overshadowed or overlooked, U. S. Grant finally gets his due in H. W. Brands’ splendid new biography. With verve and his trademark scholarship, Brands vividly brings Grant to life. Here, rendered in all his humanity, is the soldier, statesman, president. Here, too, is a man as much for our time as for his.” —Jay Winik, author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval
“H. W. Brands celebrates Grant the warrior and Grant the president, too long maligned by an unholy alliance of snobs, racists, and partisan historians. A great American gets his full due.” —Richard Brookhiser, author of James Madison
“A skilled American storyteller reminds us of Grant’s bravery and devotion on the bloody battlefields of the Civil War and as the president who rescued the martyred Lincoln’s dream in the ugly seasons after the assassination. . . . The inestimable H. W. Brands tells the tale of this very human hero with the verve and insight we expect from a great biographer.” —John A. Farrell, author of Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned
“With this clear-eyed work, Brands re-examines the great American struggle, this time with Grant at the center. The result is deeper and more complex than much of the giant Lincoln literature, as Brands gives us not just the war but its painful and painstaking aftermath. . . . This is an essential book.” —Jim Newton, author of Eisenhower: The White House Years
“Authoritative. . . . [Brands’s] narrative of Grant’s military campaigns in particular is lucid, colorful, and focused on telling moments of decision. His Grant emerges as an immensely appealing figure . . . with a keen mind, stout character, and unpretentious manner. The result is a fine portrait of the quintessential American hero.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review