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Extended Audio Sample The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace, by H. W. Brands Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (265 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: H. W. Brands Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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’ 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Comprehensive, dramatic, and highly readable…H. W. Brands has written an authoritative, action-packed, and well-rounded biography of a very human Ulysses S. Grant.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

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

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Fascinating…The author describes numerous battles and campaigns in chilling and heartbreaking detail. His management of source material is impeccable as he mixes letters from soldiers with orders, memoranda, and official communiqués from Washington.”

    Bookreporter

  • “A treat for history buffs and anyone else who enjoys a life story well-told…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.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Compelling…An extraordinarily well-written survey of Grant’s life that aims to rehabilitate his image…[Brands] offers exciting prose and fresh perspective on Grant that will make readers want to learn more.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “A well-done effort to portray one of the most important and insufficiently appreciated American figures of the nineteenth century.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “What is distinctive about this distinguished biographer’s new work is its rehabilitation of President Grant, who was not only a great general who wrote memoirs worthy of comparison to Julius Caesar’s, but a great moral leader who pursued Lincoln’s agenda of reunifying the nation and integrating its former slaves into one indivisible nation.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Thorough, balanced, and a good read…Brands deserves great praise for once more attempting to put Ulysses S. Grant where he belongs, in the pantheon of American heroes.”

    Daily Beast

  • “In this splendidly written biography, Brands does justice to one of America’s most underrated presidents…Brands is both sympathetic and thorough in his examination of Grant’s life…Brands has provided a valuable service by making clear how much America owes to Ulysses Grant.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Brands paints a vivid landscape of mid-nineteenth-century America, filling his canvas with fascinating characters…[The] prose is engaging, almost conversational, and the narrative moves briskly.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “There is a magnificent unity to this story of Grant’s leadership in both war and peace that is not found anywhere else. In this compelling narrative, Grant emerges more fascinating than ever before.”

    Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

  • “Brands artfully portrays Grant as a man of his times…and argues, persuasively, that he played a role in settling the great questions of his time.”

    Boston Globe

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Biography

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kim McGee | 2/7/2014

    " Interesting portrait of a man that I did not know much about. Much of the myth of Ulysses Grant was that of a crass, hard drinking man who was hard on everyone around him and himself. H.W. Brands has done his research on Grant and he provides some insight into this wartime genius who really never wanted the fame and glory let alone the Presidency. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Matt | 2/5/2014

    " Gave a straight forward look at the life of Grant. Described the difficulties in his life and how he succeeded as a General. Fairly easy reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chuck | 1/27/2014

    " I had read of Grant the General through all of my reading of the Civil War but didn't know much about Grant the President. For eight years he led the country through reconstruction and the continued struggle for the rights of the newly freed slaves. One of our most popular Presidents Grant could have served a third term if he elected to run! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lindsey Ginter | 1/22/2014

    " Fantastic history about a man who should be honored more! "

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