The Man Who Saved the Union by H. W. Brands
Ulysses Grant in War and Peace

93%

11 Critic Reviews

A direct, engaging approach to Grant’s life that would have pleased him.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

From New York Times bestselling author H. W. Brands, a masterful biography of the Civil War general and two-term president who saved the Union twice, on the battlefield and in the White House, holding the country together at two critical turning points in our history.

Ulysses Grant rose from obscurity to discover he had a genius for battle, and he propelled the Union to victory in the Civil War. After Abraham Lincoln's assassination and the disastrous brief presidency of Andrew Johnson, America turned to Grant again to unite the country, this time as president. In Brands's sweeping, majestic full biography, Grant emerges as a heroic figure who was fearlessly on the side of right. He was a beloved commander in the field but willing to make the troop sacrifices necessary to win the war, even in the face of storms of criticism. He worked valiantly to protect the rights of freedmen in the South; Brands calls him the last presidential defender of black civil rights for nearly a century. He played it straight with the American Indians, allowing them to shape their own fate even as the realities of Manifest Destiny meant the end of their way of life.  He was an enormously popular president whose memoirs were a huge bestseller; yet within decades of his death his reputation was in tatters, the victim of Southerners who resented his policies on Reconstruction. In this page-turning biography, Brands now reconsiders Grant's legacy and provides a compelling and intimate portrait of a man who saved the Union on the battlefield and consolidated that victory as a resolute and principled political leader.
 

About H. W. Brands

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H. W. BRANDS is the Dickson Allen Anderson Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. A New York Times bestselling author, he was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for The First American and again for Traitor to His Class. His website is www.hwbrands.com.
 
Published October 2, 2012 by Anchor. 754 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 21 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Man Who Saved the Union
All: 11 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Jun 15 2012

A direct, engaging approach to Grant’s life that would have pleased him.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
May 21 2012

The result is a fine portrait of the quintessential American hero.

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WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by RUSSELL BONDS on Sep 28 2012

Grant was not just a man of merit but a man without peer. Thus does Mr. Brands rest his case for the North's marble man.

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Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Carl Rollyson on Oct 05 2012

For this biographer, Grant is the president of good intentions, waging "a good and honorable fight."

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Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Randy Dotinga on Oct 11 2012

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.

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Dallas News

Excellent
Reviewed by Philip Seib on Oct 04 2012

Brands has provided a valuable service by making clear how much America owes to Ulysses Grant.

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The Boston Globe

Below average
Reviewed by David M. Shribman on Oct 20 2012

This is a biography that is both comprehensive and comprehensible but not always compelling. It is a thorough examination of Grant’s life — but it skims over the life Grant lived.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Purcell on Nov 04 2012

...the author offers exciting prose and fresh perspective on Grant that will make readers want to learn more.

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The Daily Beast

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Korda on Oct 06 2012

Grant had won the Civil War. The story from his birth to that moment is a heroic saga, the story from then to his death from cancer, a long tragedy, but Brands tells both parts well

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Eric Foner on Nov 02 2012

Brands is essentially a storyteller, and a good one. His prose is lucid and colorful.

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Philly.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Chris Patsilelis on Nov 10 2012

H.W. Brands has written an authoritative, action-packed, and well-rounded biography of a very human Ulysses S. Grant.

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Reader Rating for The Man Who Saved the Union
85%

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