Book Review: American Ulysses by Ronald C. White

October 17, 2023

About:

American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant by Ronald C. White is a biography of the 18th US President and American Civil War general. Mr. White is a historian who has authored several other biographies.

  • 864 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1400069025

Book Review: American Ulysses by Ronald C. White
My rating for American Ulysses – 5

Buy American Ulysses from Amazon.com*
More books by Ronald C. White*

Thoughts:

Previously I listened Ron Chernow’s biography of Ulysses S. Grant and enjoyed it very much. I was looking forward to reading this book as well and get a different perspective on the president.

American Ulysses by Ronald C. White pends up with one of my favorite anecdotes, and one that seemed to be favorite with historians as well. Major General Grant and his son, Fred, were in Washington D.C. for a White House reception and walked into Willard’s Hotel to get a room. The desk clerk, not knowing who the soft-spoken soldier in a dusty uniform in-front of him was, offered them a cheap room, only to apologize profusely and gave them a generous upgraded room when he saw the name on the register.

This is an excellent biography with fantastic collections of charts, pictures, and maps. The description of The Battle of the Wilderness, as well as the Siege of Vicksburg are well-written and illuminating. His time as a new General is also something that I found to be most interesting.

Mr. White’s assertions in the introduction is that you cannot know U.S. Grant, without knowing his wife, Julia. An acute observation which was never thoroughly followed up. In fact, I thought Chernow’s biography made me “know” more of Grant’s personality and what he was like through his writings, as well as his wife’s observations.

Nevertheless, this is a solid biography of the Grant. Mr. White examines his life and times, but as someone who previously read other Grant biographies, I didn’t learn anything new, or got any new insights.

Buy American Ulysses from Amazon.com*
More books by Ronald C. White*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I bought this book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Summary
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American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant by Ronald C. White
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Wrap Up

American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant by Ronald C. White

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