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Publisher's Summary

In this stunning biography, William McFeely brings us a thoroughly compelling story of a tangled life.

Having once said “a military life had no charms to me,” U.S. Grant entered West Point to get through the course, secure a detail for a few years as assistant professor of mathematics at the Academy, and afterwards obtain a permanent position as professor at some respectable college. But the course his life took was quite different. Little did he ever dream that he would serve with distinction in the Mexican War, lead the Union to victory in the Civil War, struggle through eight years as President of the United States, and wage bitter personal battles against alcoholism, insolvency, and cancer.

©1981 William S. McFeely (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Grant

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McFeely expresses negative undertone entire time

The biographer expresses a negative undertone and belittles Grant through the entire biography. Find another history of Grant.

2 people found this helpful

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A Disappointing Book

Robert E. Lee fought for the perpetuation of human bondage; U.S. Grant occasionally drank alcohol. If you think these things balance themselves out, this is the book for you! You'll hear more about alleged unsubstantiated benders than you will about the Battle of Shiloh. There will also be cringe-worthy attempts at pseudo psychology to impugn General Grant's ability and motives in every chapter. Apparently all you had to do to win a Pulitzer Prize three decades ago was write a scholarly sounding hatchet job that you self declare as balanced in your own epilogue. It was a very disappointing book.

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Good, Good, Awesome, Can't finish it

While I don't blame the author for U.S. Grant's boring presidency I do blame him for telling it in such a yawnworthy way. While in depth about the presidency it felt like an ice pick going into my ocular socket. Great early life through presidential election boring afterwords though. Narrator was good but editing was horrible......maybe audible should have a editing rating i have heard some crazy things on some audiobooks.

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Poorly written, a hatchet job.

This author strangely takes every action of Grant’s and finds some strange ulterior motive behind it. After a few chapters it become obvious that the writing is prejudiced and vindictive. Wonder if the author was a member of some group like the Klan that still can’t
forgive Grant for fighting for black freedom and voting rights.

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a good listen

I enjoy the narrators style. the book gets into the weeds but not so far as to bore you. very informative.

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More balanced than later works

Early in my studies, having read Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote, I was put off by McFeely’s biography and set it aside reading Jean Edward Smith instead. Now having read Carswell McClellan and many other primary source books disputing Grant’s Memoirs, I find it a much more accurate narrative than later books that have glossed over his failings and tend to create an over the top mythical Grant. Although author is criticized for his speculations on Grant’s psychological states it seems now an interesting and fair enough appraisal. I enjoyed audiobook format very much.

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Nope

I’m all for looking into history with a critical eye and finding that common understandings fall short of reality BUT I draw the line when authors begin psychoanalyzing in ways that they can’t back up with any reference. Mr. McFeely crosses my line almost immediately with the story of the donkey and how it affected Grant for the rest of his life, without really saying anything other than Grant laughed about it later in life. And for that reason, I’m out.

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Pretty Good

Good book, but the recording has minor stutters. Still an excellent work capturing the essence of a conflicted soul