Ron Chernow's "Grant" (1950)

Six Wednesdays: July 10, 17, 24, 31, Aug 7, 14, 6-8 p.m. 

$135.00 (10% off for members)

Although few would deny his contributions to Union victory in the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant has not been accorded a place in the pantheon of American heroes like that given to his contemporary, Abraham Lincoln. Grant’s accomplishments always come with damning caveats. He brought down the seemingly invincible Robert E. Lee, but only because he was a “butcher” whose victories were attributable to his disregard for human life. He ascended to the presidency, but in office he proved himself an incompetent whose penchant for cronyism and infirmity in the face of Southern defiance spelled Reconstruction’s doom. He withstood the rigors of West Point training and Civil War combat, but he was a drunk whose personal failings prefigured the corruption that racked his administration. In his 2017 biography, Ron Chernow re-examines Grant, one of the most pivotal figures in the drama of the Civil War era. In this class, we will consider Grant’s record on and off the battlefield, and grapple with Chernow’s reinterpretation of Grant’s role in winning the Civil War and managing the shaky peace that followed. We will also consider how Chernow’s portrayal of Grant fits within overarching scholarly conversations about the war, emancipation and Reconstruction. Six Wednesdays: July 10, 17, 24, 31, Aug 7, 14, 6-8 p.m. 

Reading Schedule
July 10 -- Intro and Chapters 1-6
July 17 -- Chapters 7-14
July 24 -- Chapters 15-21
July 31 -- Chapters 22-28
August 7 -- Chapters 29-35
August 14 -- Chapters 36-43

Grant by Ron Chernow


The Annotated Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant, Elizabeth D. Samet (Editor) 9781631492440

Brian Taylor is a scholar of US history who focuses on the Civil War era and is interested in issues of citizenship, race and national belonging. He earned his doctorate from Georgetown University in 2015, and since has taught at Georgetown and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His first book, tentatively titled Fighting for Citizenship, is in the production process at the University of North Carolina Press. His next project will focus on the Reno City neighborhood of Washington, DC, a community founded by enslaved men and women after the Civil War. He lives in Laurel, MD, with his wife Diane, son Steve, and three cats.


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Grant Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143110637
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - September 25th, 2018

The Annotated Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631492440
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Liveright - December 4th, 2018