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Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War
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Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,441 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
"We were as brothers," William Tecumseh Sherman said, describing his relationship to Ulysses S. Grant. They were incontestably two of the most important figures in the Civil War, but until now there has been no book about their victorious partnership and the deep friendship that made it possible
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2005)
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Ellis Katz
Aug 10, 2013 Ellis Katz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
Study of the North's two greatest generals during the American Civil War. Not an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Grant and Sherman, but, more importantly, a description of the warm, but sometimes testy relationship between them. Each brought unique qualities to the relationship and to the war effort. Together they were an unstoppable force. The book can be read by both laypeople and Civil War experts.
Steven Peterson
As other reviews note, this book is marred by some errors (e.g., it was not Grant who abrogated Kentucky's neutrality; most works I have read credit The Bishop General, Polk, with that accomplishment). It also promises more in the subtitle than it can deliver ("The Friendship That Won the Civil War"). I just don't see the case made that their friendship led to victory. It was hardly irrelevant, of course, but the subtitle's claim sets a high standard to meet.

However the performance of generals
Linda Robinson
Dec 31, 2012 Linda Robinson rated it really liked it
Engaging writing and good information on the politics behind how the Civil War was waged. The Union was on its way to bungling the whole thing with generals minus military experience appointed by cronies; all with mighty career agendas. Grant was in the right place at the right time, after the tin soldiers who couldn't bring themselves to attack anything were removed; and Sherman was fortunate to be right there with Grant. Egos are evident and loud. Sherman would make a good psychological study ...more
Jul 18, 2013 Jerome rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-war, favorites
This book is one of the most readable and interesting histories of the Civil War that I have had the pleasure to read.

This is an excellent read with excellent insights into the personalities and temperaments of the two great Union generals in the Civil War.The strength of this book is that the narrative is very compelling and easy to read. This book is very well-written and enjoyable, and examines a very important, though sometimes underestimated, relationship between the two men who arguably d
Sherman once famously said of Grant, 'we were as brothers', and the enduring friendship between them is brought wonderfully to life in this book. Both were considered failures before the War began, both had left the army, Grant was considered a drunk and Sherman a lunatic, but the Civil War was really the making of them. Indeed, Flood questions whether the North could have won the war without such a strong military partnership in charge. Given how much politics and ambition had interfered and ha ...more
Bas Kreuger
Feb 10, 2012 Bas Kreuger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Flood has a gift to write both factually interesting and emotionally gripping.
The book almost reads like a novel and Grant and Sherman appear in the lines somewhat larger than life. Their friendship, supporting each other almost unconditionally during the whole of the Civil War, forms them in an unbeatable team on the Union side.
Not being specially well versed in American history, it is an incredible story how both men were more or less down and out before the war and four years later were the d
Feb 19, 2016 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Grant and Sherman" tells the story of the two most famous U.S. generals from the Civil War, and their partnership that led to victory against the rebellion. Charles Bracelen Flood does a fine job of presenting both men as individuals, and their respective private and public lives. The book also does a commendable job of highlighting how they worked together to formulate their winning strategy, and the strong bond they shared as a result. However, it feels at times that the coverage of both men ...more
Mar 20, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, nice flow with a few annoyances: 5 or 6 more quotes and you would swear the author was there taking minutes; The picture of Grant on a horse is not Grant on a horse, see the notes for the picture at the LOC:

All in all a very enjoyable book. A nice change from the endless staccato of data that embalms most writings on this war.
Royal Oak Public Library
Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman formed one of the greatest partnerships in American history. Although they were very different men, both Grant and Sherman were unsuccessful and unhappy prior to the war. Sherman had a history of mental illness and breakdowns. Grant, at one point prior to the war, was relieved of military duties for drunkenness. Both men were able to find a much needed companion in one another, even though the war often kept them hundreds of miles apart. Together the ...more
Oct 17, 2014 R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Flood's "Grant and Sherman: The Friendship that won the Civil War" is no modern "bromance", but rather a well written account of the friendship between Grant and Sherman following some of the dark periods of the initial battles of the Civil War. Flood does a good job of setting up the story by discussing some of the early tribulations that each man faced individually while trying to find their respective paths in pre-war, peace time America. As Flood seems to suggest, the personal strugg ...more
Aug 21, 2015 Alyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alyson by: Ann Marie Ross
The last 10 minutes of the audio book is an interview with the author. I was interested to learn that when the idea of this book came to him the book practically wrote itself because there was so much information. The author used a lot of letters and correspondence written between the two men and/or to their wives about each other. I was previously familiar with both men, to a small degree, but had no idea how their friendship developed because of the war and also helped to win the war.

I loved
Rebecca Hanley
Mar 16, 2016 Rebecca Hanley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book depicts one of the most well known historical bromances between General Grant and the often maligned General Sherman. Flood also talks about the pre-war lives of these unlikely heroes in great detail to help us get a sense of their character before discussing how their dedication and efforts through this friendship eventually helped the Union to prevail over the South. The battles are written in surprisingly great detail and we can feel the hardships of these two men as the North very ...more
Sep 20, 2014 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-read
A multi-faceted booked of relationships, and one very interesting and detailed! Although the title defines the primary prospective of the book, Grant and Sherman, it further paints a detailed picture of the relationships between both men to their wives as well as the importance and strength of their families. Through the pre-war “bad” years when both men struggled for economic success and viewed as failures to the war years and after when fame had been achieved, both heavily related on their “st ...more
Sam Sattler
Dec 05, 2014 Sam Sattler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, civil-war
Union generals Grant and Sherman shared a similar background of failure and frustration, though at the beginning of the War Between the States, Grant was probably the bigger failure of the two. Both men were very dependent upon their families for support of one sort or another, be it as simple as Grant working in his father's leather shop or a bit more complicated like Sherman benefitting from the political influence of his politically-connected family.

Just four years later, the pair was largel
Mar 02, 2014 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ulysses S Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman never met until late in 1861. Yet they forged a friendship that would save the Union and last until the end of the days. At critical junctures in the war, each came to the others defense as both military superiors and politicians called for their heads. As Sherman put it "Grant stood by me when I was crazy and I stood by him when he was drunk and now we stand by each other."

The two men came from different economic backgrounds, different levels of prew
Oct 03, 2011 Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war-military
This is an engaging book which details the lives (the early failures and remarkable successes) of Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman whose brilliant military guidance brought about the defeat of the Confederate forces during America's Civil War. The author, Flood, discusses in detail both the foibles and strengths of these two remarkable men, tells how they met in the early days of the Union's armies of the Western United States and developed a mutually supportive and reinforcing mil ...more
Surprisingly, the author reveals relatively little about the friendship shared by Grant and Sherman. The book is really a history of the campaigns of the two generals. Obviously, the two generals supported each other and apparently shared a relationship far closer than that between most other Civil War generals. And the author makes a case that both went out of the way to support the other - whether it be Sherman refusing to consider promotion to Lt. General, which would have put him on a par wi ...more
A very well read and informative book. The heart of the novel is the relationship between Grant and Sherman and how this relationship changed not only the Civil War and the country, but the men themselves. Grant and Sherman are portrayed as flawed men who make mistakes but are able to overcome them. Their relationship was amazing, the way they supported each other was very great to read! The author also touches upon the families of both men (both Julia and Ellen seem like fascinating women and I ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A satisfying look at how Grant and Sherman worked together, and something of a dual biography of both men. A good book for those who are already familiar with the details of the war and who are looking for a closer look at how the two generals got to where they were by the 1860s. There were quite a few quotes and details here that were new to me, and the book doesn't overstay its welcome. An enjoyable read that stands as a nice complement to the more formal biographies of Sherman and Grant.
Jun 13, 2007 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to every American who wants to know the price paid for our freedoms today.
Shelves: grantandsherman
This is one of the best and most difinitive books on the Civil War. It shows clearly that why the Armies of the East were making great news the war was being one a step at a time by the brillant of Grant and the support of Sherman.
It's truly amazing how 2 commanders coming from such low begining were through their wit and talent able to raise to the top.
The is a great chronicle of the Civil War as you learn of the many great battles whose memory has slipped away with time.

It is a powerful book
Mike Smith
Dec 27, 2015 Mike Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read for folks that are even casually interested in the Civil War. The basic narrative will be familiar, but the added angle of the Grant-Sherman relationship added interest. For me, the description of the organization of the two armies added context to see how the various generals arrived at the positions they occupied.
Aug 10, 2011 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easily read, this book gives a more personal perspective on the familiar story of the Civil War. I found the relationship between Grant and Sherman fascinating. To fill out the book Flood provides a lot of other material that also made that war more personal. This book is not very analytic, but perhaps that is not necessary in an account of the intertwining of the lives of two men. I don't know of many books about friendship between men. As for Sherman's madness, the book makes clear that this w ...more
Michael Burhans
A surprisingly good book. Having read more than a dozen books on each of these men, I was surprised to find that this book still offered new and exciting incites into them.

Well written, easily read, and fascinating. One of the best civil war era books I have read in a very long time.
Jun 01, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-to-buy
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Southern girl to the core. My shelves are lined with the biographies of Confederate generals; prior to this, the only Billy Jack allowed in my house was Joshua Chamberlain. But I picked this up after a glowing review I read in a magazine, and I was not disappointed. I will be buying this book in the near future, because it's a work that should be in any war buff's collection, whether you call it the Civil War or the War for Southern Independence, or anything ...more
extraordinary book; vivid description of their war strategy, their relationship, their complicated characters, the battle of vicksburg, two extradordinary men that won the war; great way to learn about the civil war without having to read a blow by blow account of all the battles
A good look at the relationship between the Union’s two greatest generals Ulysses Grant and William Sherman. It details their initial tour in the military and early life and their troubled lives as civilians before the Civil War. It then details their rise during the Civil War as they began to trust and rely on one another to win the War. Good read.
Dec 29, 2014 Troy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book about the two best generals of the Civil War. I'm amazed at how well they worked together and always backed up the other. They always gave credit to the other and were more concerned with winning the war and their friendship then glory and who did what.
Sep 14, 2009 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
The most fascinating chapters are at the start, the successive professional failures of Grant and Sherman prior to the war and their more or less stumbling into positions of command. The mid-bits are a gloss of Civili War history, rehash for anyone who's already soaking in this stuff anyway. Picks up again at the end with a vivid picture of the last weeks of the war, the atmosphere in Washington following Lincoln's assassination and the Grand Review of the victorious Union armies. Rapid fire epi ...more
Dan G
Feb 05, 2014 Dan G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating study of the two most important Union commanders in the Civil War.
Apr 23, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For fans of civil war history.
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Charles Bracelen Flood was born in Manhattan, and graduated from Harvard, where he was a member of Archibald MacLeish’s noted creative writing seminar, English S, and was on the literary board of the Harvard Lampoon. (In 2001, Flood was honored with the Lampoon’s Clem Wood Award; past recipients have included George Plimpton, John Updike, and Conan O’Brien.)

Love is a Bridge, Flood’s first novel, r
More about Charles Bracelen Flood...

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