Monday, April 26, 2021

Book Review: Grant by Mitchell Yockelson

It has been one hundred and fifty years since the Civil War and Ulysses S. Grant is still considered one of the greatest officers of the United States Army. He didn't want to be a soldier but when his father submitted an application to West Point for his son, Grant reluctantly attended. Grant served in the Mexican War and distinguished himself in combat.  He continued to serve until shortly after he married.  Grant wanted to be with his family so he resigned.

He spent years trying to make a living in several different careers but when the country split apart in 1861 and war between the northern and southern states erupted, Grant knew he needed to serve his country.  He believed it was his duty to do so. When he was unable to secure a commission with the regular army because of unproven rumours that he was a heavy drinker, he signed up with the Illinois volunteer army. Grant was a natural leader and rose quickly to Commander of the Union Army. 

After the war, Grant became the eighteenth president of the United States, serving two terms.  Even though he wasn't a politician he was able to do fairly well especially in the areas of Reconstruction.

When Grant was diagnosed with throat cancer he rushed to complete his memoirs.  His two-volume memoirs were completed days before he died and were published posthumously in 1885. They are considered to be the greatest work of the genre and through them his military contributions remain with us always.

I have reviewed several books now for Thomas Nelson Publishers.  Grant:  Savior of the Union by Mitchell Yockelson is the second I've read in The Generals series.  It has a great deal of good information to share and it is an interesting read but the writing is stilted and there is a lack of connection between Grant and the reader.  I do recommend this book but perhaps not with both thumbs up.

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