Touched with Fire by James M. Perry
Five Presidents and the Civil War Battles That Made Them

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"In our youth our hearts were touched with fire."

So said Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., the future Supreme Court justice, about his fellow veterans of the Civil War. The 1860s were a time much like the 1940s, when a generation of idealistic young Americans answered their country 's call, and many made the supreme sacrifice to preserve freedom and liberty for all. And among the two million "boys in blue " were five soldiers whose wartime heroics would take them into national politics -a ride that would lead, in time, to the White House.

In Touched with Fire, James M. Perry reintroduces us to these five men -Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. "Ruddy" Hayes, James A. "Jamie " Garfield, Benjamin "Little Ben " Harrison, and William "Mack " McKinley -who rose to the pinnacle of American life but are now largely forgotten. Drawing on diaries, letters, and other first-hand accounts, Perry recreates the battles that brought them fame and extols the courage that made them extraordinary leaders, especially under fire. The Civil War was their finest hour, and their stories form a vivid reminder of what a truly great generation can accomplish.


About James M. Perry

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James M. Perry began his journalism career at Leatherneck Magazine, and then worked for thirty-five years covering politics for the National Observer and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of five previous books, In 1977 was awarded the National Press Club's Fourth Estate Award for a distinguished career in journalism
Published January 2, 2005 by PublicAffairs. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Although he has but qualified praise for their work as politicians, Perry writes admiringly of their many contributions to the Union cause, with even a grudging nod to Garfield, “the smartest, the most devious, the most political of all these Civil War presidents.” A solid overview, well suited t...

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This solid, informative group biography examines the five American Presidents who did military service during in the Civil War.

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