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Monday, July 9, 2012

Grant: Savior of the Union ("The Generals" series) by Mitchell Yockelson

  Published in 2012 by Thomas Nelson

Grant: Savior of the Union is an enjoyable, easy-to-read biography of Ulysses S. Grant, the Union General that seemingly came from nowhere to become the man that engineered the conquest of  the Confederacy.

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)
Yockelson covers Grant's entire life and also a bit of his father's life, with an appropriate emphasis on Grant's military service in the Mexican War, his resignation from the army between the wars, his difficulties as a civilian and his return to the service once war broke out between the Union and the Confederacy. Two-thirds of the book covers the four years of service in the Civil War. His Presidency and retirement years are quickly brushed over.

Grant's career is dealt with fairly throughout the book. His great decisions are applauded, his mistakes are pointed out (Cold Harbor, in particular) and the reader gets strong feel for his calm, determined leadership style and his emphasis on substance over style. This is a much more balanced biography than the Sherman biography in this series (click here for my review of Sherman: The Ruthless Victor).

That being said, the book is in serious need of maps and lots of them. There are a few pictures scattered throughout, but no maps. Also, there are times when the book tends to repeat itself, such as in the chapter on his Presidency.

Still, this is a solid biography recommended for the beginner or the serious student of the Civil War who just has to read everything that he or she finds (like me).

 I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.

I rate this biography 4 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on July 9, 2012.

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