They were both prewar failures—Grant, forced to resign from the Regular Army because of his drinking, and Sherman, holding four different jobs, including a much-loved position at a southern military academy—in the years before the firing on Fort Sumter. They began their unique collaboration ten months into the war, at the Battle of Shiloh, each carefully taking the other's measure. They shared the demands of family life and the heartache of personal tragedy. They shared similar philosophies of battle, employed similar strategies and tactics, and remained in close, virtually daily communication throughout the conflict. They were incontestably two of the Civil War's most important figures, and the deep, abiding friendship they shared made the Union's ultimate victory possible.
Poignant, riveting, and elegantly written, Grant and Sherman is a remarkable portrait of two extraordinary men and a singular friendship, forged on the battlefield, that would change the course of history.
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The lives of Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman are classic underdog stories. Both of these "obscure failures" experienced more disappointment than success prior to the start of the Civil War. By 1861, they had each resigned from the U.S. Army and failed in several civilian pursuits between them, including farming, real estate, retail, and banking. Further, Grant was known as a drunk and Sherman was labeled insane. But once they threw themselves into the war effort, their best traits and talents began to reveal themselves. Even their motives were similar--both men joined the war not to eradicate slavery but to hold the Union together, believing that secession was equal to treason. This dual biography gracefully reveals how the two men grew to be "as brothers," why their partnership proved essential to victory for the Union, and how well they complemented and helped each other in their lives and careers, despite some major differences. For instance, though he possessed tremendous talent, Sherman was insecure and initially asked Abraham Lincoln never to give him a superior command. Grant, on the other hand, never doubted his ability to lead, and he quickly, if quietly, moved up the chain of command. Once he recognized Sherman's abilities, Grant made sure to keep him close, and they grew to depend upon each other completely. Through their near-daily interaction, even when separated by distance, both men honed their skills and eventually came up with a winning strategy for the war, which they executed in a brilliant two-pronged assault.
The book also discusses Grant's and Sherman's marriages, their relationships with their soldiers, and their dealings with politicians to provide well-rounded and complete portraits of these fascinating leaders. Grant and Sherman is a thoughtful portrait of the two men who "other than Lincoln... would have more to do with winning the war that preserved the Union than anyone else." --Shawn CarkonenAbout the Author:
Charles Bracelen Flood is the author of Lee: The Last Years; Hitler: The Path to Power; and Rise, and Fight Again: Perilous Times Along the Road to Independence, winner of an American Revolution Round Table Award. He lives with his wife on a farm in Richmond, Kentucky.
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Book Description HarperAudio, U.S.A., 2005. Book Condition: New. AUDIOBOOK. New in shrinkwrap. Bookseller Inventory # 011604