beginner books on Grant

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#1
Far as beginner biographies to start with on Grant.I have heard of Ron White's,Grant By Chernow.For a beginner is this the order one should start?

1)Grant Trilogy By Lloyd Lewis and Bruce Catton
2)American Ulysses By Ronald White
3)Grant By Chernow
 

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Cavalry Charger

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#4
Far as beginner biographies to start with on Grant.I have heard of Ron White's,Grant By Chernow.For a beginner is this the order one should start?

1)Grant Trilogy By Lloyd Lewis and Bruce Catton
2)American Ulysses By Ronald White
3)Grant By Chernow
Hi @AUTiger and welcome to the forums from the host of the Ulysses S. Grant forum :grant: if I haven't said that already!

There are a number of threads in Grant's forum, a couple of which I will link you to here, which provide discussion and give recommendations on what books to read. After perusing those my choice for a biography became Brooks D. Simpson's 'Ulysses S. Grant - Triumph Over Adversity'. It came highly recommended. In learning about Grant, though, my first choice was his memoirs which alot of people also recommend. I wanted to learn about Grant from his own perspective before being influenced by the perspectives of others. Of course, the biographies fill in details and include information Grant may not have provided in his memoirs.

I hope the links are helpful.

This link provides opinions around his personal memoirs:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/us-grants-personal-memoirs.122829/

This link has a great list of recommended reading provided by @GrantCottage1885

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/grant-bios.153911/

In a recent NY Times Op Ed Ulysses S. Grant came under fire for his Civil Rights record as President. Many of the commenters on that online Op Ed came to the defense of Grant and the majority of those who did had read Chernow's biography. I was surprised at the level of support Grant received.

I've also seen the White bio. recommended, so I think you're on the right track for now :smile:
 

WJC

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#5
I agree with the order you suggested for reading the three works mentioned. The Grant Trilogy is a very easy read and can be acquired from most libraries or at a very low cost.
Depending upon your interest and objectives, you might want to skip from Trilogy right to Memoirs.
 

DanSBHawk

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#6
Nick Sacco, who works as a park ranger at the US Grant Historic Site in St Louis and blogs about Civil War stuff, wrote about Grant bios here. One of the "great," but also "concise" bios he recommended was:

"Josiah Bunting III – Ulysses S. Grant (2004): For those looking for a punchy, concise analysis of Grant’s life, I highly recommend checking out Josiah Bunting’s brief biography, which clocks in around 200 pages. Bunting does a nice job of interpreting Grant’s presidency (although I would like to have seen more about Grant’s reconstruction policies), and the book is full of eloquent passages that provide a nice historical context for explaining the world in which Grant operated. I enjoyed this book very much."
 

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#7
Nick Sacco, who works as a park ranger at the US Grant Historic Site in St Louis and blogs about Civil War stuff, wrote about Grant bios here. One of the "great," but also "concise" bios he recommended was:

"Josiah Bunting III – Ulysses S. Grant (2004): For those looking for a punchy, concise analysis of Grant’s life, I highly recommend checking out Josiah Bunting’s brief biography, which clocks in around 200 pages. Bunting does a nice job of interpreting Grant’s presidency (although I would like to have seen more about Grant’s reconstruction policies), and the book is full of eloquent passages that provide a nice historical context for explaining the world in which Grant operated. I enjoyed this book very much."
Delighted to see Brooks D. Simpson comes out on top of the list here, especially in terms of anything written by him on Grant being a worthwhile read. Thanks so much for sharing his perspective on Grant bios. A post to bookmark for sure.
 
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#9
Also in addition to the lewis/catton series and Chernow and White's how are McFeely and Jean Edward Smith's,etc?
I think you will find your answer in the link @DanSBHawk provided above where he mentions Nick Sacco and his blog.

He gives a great rundown on medium, good and great biographies where McFeely comes up as medium and Jean Edward Smith as either good or great. Giving reasons for his thoughts, he sums things up pretty well as regards to how he has rated them.
 
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#13
I jumped right in with Grant’s Memoirs and for me it was the right choice. It took me a long time to read it and I found I kept going to the computer looking up additional information to aid me in completing a fuller picture of events and battles. From there I discovered other books on Grant to read, but I found it helped me to hear it first as Grant wrote it.
 

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#14
I jumped right in with Grant’s Memoirs and for me it was the right choice. It took me a long time to read it and I found I kept going to the computer looking up additional information to aid me in completing a fuller picture of events and battles. From there I discovered other books on Grant to read, but I found it helped me to hear it first as Grant wrote it.
I'm with you on this one @DBF and did the same. It is also highly readable and has been praised for that as well.
 

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