384 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 69 illus., 3 maps, notes, bibl., index
Civil War America
American Hero, American Myth
2010 William Henry Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography, Civil War Forum of Metropolitan New York
2009 Jefferson Davis Award, Museum of the Confederacy
2010 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
A Washington Post Critic's Favorite Book of 2009
At the time of his death, Ulysses S. Grant was the most famous person in America, considered by most citizens to be equal in stature to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Yet today his monuments are rarely visited, his military reputation is overshadowed by that of Robert E. Lee, and his presidency is permanently mired at the bottom of historical rankings. In U. S. Grant, Joan Waugh investigates Grant's place in public memory and the reasons behind the rise and fall of his renown, while simultaneously underscoring the fluctuating memory of the Civil War itself.
"Brings to vivid life a highly contentious political landscape. . . . A readable, worthwhile book which will be interesting to anyone with a desire to learn more about the process of historical memory--and about a forgotten man who deserves to be remembered."
--The Journal of Military History
"An impressive study using the techniques of history and memory. . . . Deserves to be at the top of anyone's list, scholar or general reader, interested in the Grant story. . . . Highly recommended."
"Exceptionally thoughtful and valuable. . . . [Written in] clear prose that is readily accessible to the serious general reader. . . . [A] fine study."
--Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"An engaging study of the making of Ulysses S. Grant's reputation. . . . Waugh convincingly interprets Grant as 'symboliz[ing] both the hopes and the lost dreams' of the Civil War."
"Brilliant and unsettling. . . . Part biography, part military history, part social chronicle charting the rise and fall of Grant's reputation, U.S. Grant is a sobering reminder of the vicissitudes of fame. . . . Waugh's well-researched and vibrantly written book . . . restores luster to a lost American hero."
--The Chicago Tribune
"A well researched and scholarly work that Civil War enthusiasts will enjoy."
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