The Civil War shaped the destiny of our nation as well as everyone it touched. Ulysses S. Grant was no exception. Who really was Grant? Before the war, many considered him a loser; forced out of the military for alleged drunkenness and a failure at business. With the outbreak of war, Grant volunteered for service and rose to Commanding General of the Army. Was he a great strategist or a brutal, inflexible commander relying on superior numbers and brute force? After the war, Grant served two terms as president. Was he a highly ethical, defender of the emancipated slaves or was he complicit in the scandals that plagued his presidency? We will explore the many sides of Grant with the book, Grant
by Ron Chernow (Penguin Press, 2017), Pulitzer Prize winning author of Alexander Hamilton. This is a two semester study group. The first semester covers pre-war and Civil War years. The second semester covers post-war years including Grant’s presidency. We will assign approximately 40 pages per week of reading. Participants are encouraged to lead a discussion but it is not mandatory. No class on 09/19/18.