The New York Times bestseller, “American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant” by Ronald C. White. will be featured at the adult book discussion on Tuesday, November 28, 7:00 p.m. at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, 201 N. Mulberry Street, Mount Vernon.
Guest Mickey Shire will lead a discussion on the biography of one of America’s greatest generals—and most misunderstood presidents.
In his time, Grant was routinely grouped with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the “Trinity of Great American Leaders.” But the battlefield, commander–turned–commander-in-chief fell out of favor in the twentieth century. In “American Ulysses,” White argues that we need to once more revise our view of history.
The book is based on seven years of research with primary documents—some of them never examined by previous Grant scholars. White shows Grant to be a generous, curious, introspective man and leader—a willing delegator with a natural gift for managing the rampaging egos of his fellow officers. His wife, Julia Dent Grant, long marginalized in the historic record, emerges in her own right as a spirited and influential partner.
Grant was not only a brilliant general but also a passionate defender of equal rights in post-Civil War America. After winning election to the White House in 1868, he used the power of the federal government to battle the Ku Klux Klan. He was the first president to state that the government’s policy toward American Indians was immoral, and the first ex-president to embark on a world tour.
He cemented his reputation for courage by racing against death to complete his “Personal Memoirs” book. Published by Mark Twain, it is widely considered to be the greatest autobiography by an American leader, but its place in Grant’s life story has never been fully explored—until now.
One of those rare books that successfully recast our impression of an iconic historical figure, “American Ulysses” gives us a finely honed, three-dimensional portrait of Grant the man—husband, father, leader, and writer.
“American Ulysses” won the William Henry Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography and was a finalist for the Gilder-Lehrman Military History Book Prize.
The program is free and open to the public. As always, reading the book is not required to attend this interesting program. Refreshments will be served.
Copies of the book are available at all 4 library locations or can be purchased at area bookstores.