GrantChernow, Ron By Ron Chernow


Ron Chernow æ 8 Summary

Brilliant read really portraying the real U S Grant and showing his importance in American history. To think the scumbag Antifa mindless morons ripped his statue down in San Francisco shows how dumbed down the millennial generation is. Grants humanity to his black fellow Americans was heart rendering. Maybe take Keeping Up With the Kardashians off the TV and tell the story about Grant, Lincoln, Sherman and the others who did so much to end slavery ! Adolescence This book goes on for ever. Literally. Ad infinitum. It is. 1,000 long and Chernow cold have condensed it to 5 600 pages without losing historical accuracy.With so many pages the author risks getting bogged into detail and losing the bigger oicture throughout. And that is exactly what happens. Chernow dwells on Grant’s alleged problem with alcohol spending page after page on the reliability of witness statements and to the extent where you sit there and say “OK Ron! I get the picture. Conclude and move on”.The price of all this is that the section on the civil war becomes yet another missed opportunity to write a great story. Although the civil war is central to the book, it becomes almost only a side issue as opposed to focusing on the wider strategic picture. Why were Grant’s battles important? And what degrees of freedom did they give Lincoln and other generals?As far as alcoholism is concerned, it is an interesting question. Do I believe that Grant could have been a stark raving alcoholic and at the same time commanded very successfully a huge army of 200,000 men? Won major battles, where he commanded and led from the front? Become Lincoln’s most trusted soldier? And sat two terms as President of the United States? Common sense would dictate no.So, in conclusion: way too long; nowhere near Chernow’s finest book and you are left with the impression that he was paid per page rather than paid for quality. Adolescence

The #1 New York Times bestseller and New York Times Book Review10 Best Books of 2017

Eminently readable but thick with import. Granthits like a Mack truck of knowledge.Ta Nehisi Coates , The Atlantic

Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant.

Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.

Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had ended dismally, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in war, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign, and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Along the way, Grant endeared himself to President Lincoln and became his most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort. Grants military fame translated into a two term presidency, but one plagued by corruption scandals involving his closest staff members.

More important, he sought freedom and justice for black Americans, working to crush the Ku Klux Klan and earning the admiration of Frederick Douglass, who called him the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race. After his presidency, he was again brought low by a dashing young swindler on Wall Street, only to resuscitate his image by working with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs, which are recognized as a masterpiece of the genre.

With lucidity, breadth, and meticulousness, Chernow finds the threads that bind these disparate stories together, shedding new light on the man whom Walt Whitman described as nothing heroic and yet the greatest hero. Chernows probing portrait of Grant's lifelong struggle with alcoholism transforms our understanding of the man at the deepest level. This is America's greatest biographer, bringing movingly to life one of our finest but most underappreciated presidents. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant's life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.

Named one of the best books of the year by Goodreads The New York Times Newsday BookPage Barnes and Noble Wall Street Journal GrantChernow, Ron

Ron Chernow is already stablished as the biographer of the XIX century America. His books on Washington, Hamilton, Grant, Rockefeller and Morgan can be read as the great chronic of politics and finance of the nation in the making. Some of those books are slightly better than others, yet they form an admirable, already essential, opus, and this precise one, the life of Ulysses Grant, ranks high in this little great canon.General (later President) Grant is one of the great men of the XIX century America, or perhaps of recent history. The man was a celebrated soldier, an excellent writer, twice President of the USA and a figure made a model of perseverance, strong will and stoicism one of the recognizable recent authors of the said stoicism, Ryan Holiday, had Grant as one of his central examples in his celebrated (and multi million seller) The Obstacle is the Way. Ulysses Grant was also a good husband and doting father. And then an alcoholic and a poor (a very poor) business man, who in spite of his evident success, was always in the verge of bankruptcy.All the previous is in the book, in a tale that runs through the best part of the XIX century and which has as secondary characters President Lincoln and Queen Victoria, amongst others. The tale is well told, the ups and downs of the man well drawn and the story flows. The event that made Grant the American Civil War is in the book, but as a background, secondary to the General who won it. At the end, we know a lot of a fascinating character, and also much on a fascinating country, still looking for its place in the world. The book is deeply researched and well written, with the trade mark, almost recognizable, magnificent sober prose of Mr Chernow, making its 900 plus pages to go quick.Only a small flaw, a moot. The book sides too much with its subject. The author obviously admires its main character (who doesn't), but he shows the admiration too much. After every mistake made by Grant comes not only the explanation, but the justification. It paints a too neat of a picture of an evidently flawed man. Making his flaws clearer wouldn't have made Grant worse, only human. Adolescence This biography of Grant is a weighty tome that demands an investment of time that few biographies normally require. I’m still unsure if it was worth it!This covers his entire life and the first half where it explores his childhood and his years as a civil war general were fascinating. You see why he was respected so much and discover the innovative methods he developed to fight and win the war for the north. The part of this book that covers his presidential years was extremely dry and where the author could recount an incident with brevity, he often didn’t. It became ridiculous to read of events where it became almost like ‘he said this, then he said that, then he said this’, whereas an actual narrative account of the event would suffice and illustrate the point being explored. The last part which covers his life after the presidency was interesting as Grant travelled the world and became the first defacto foreign relations diplomat.You do get the feeling the author did a lot of research for this book and couldn’t bear to leave any of it out, but I feel it would have benefited from a strict edit and being half the length. I have no problems with long books, as some of my other reviews show, but only when they genuinely require it and books as dry and unnecessarily long as this leave me a little frustrated as my time (like all of us) is precious. Saying this, I did find it a fascinating life story and parts of this book had me gripped and were written with real verve (mainly the aforementioned Civil war years). It was great to learn about an American president who often slips through the cracks of historical biographies and if you enjoy reading about American history, politics or the civil war, then give this a go. Just be prepared for a big time commitment and to power through the dry parts. Adolescence Ron Chernow has written a magisterial, but eminently readable, 959 page account of the life of Ulysses S. Grant, the Union military genius who won the Civil War, and subsequently the two time President who championed the freedom of the former slave population of the South through his policy of Reconstruction. Grant emerges as a flawed individual who battled a liking for alcohol and who was overly naïve in his judgement on people, particularly those looking to use him for financial or political gain, but whose legacy to the US is immense, parallel to that of his political mentor Abraham Lincoln. This is a superb biography which has been extensively researched, yet which reads like a novel. Thoroughly recommended. Adolescence Excellent ouvrage clair et bien documenté, j'ai appris des masses de choses sur ce général et président assez méconnu. Adolescence Ron Chernow est un biographe talentueux, j’ai beaucoup apprécié son Alexandre Hamilton, Grant est au moins au même niveau. Adolescence