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A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant's Overlooked Military Genius
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A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant's Overlooked Military Genius

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  65 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"Ulysses S. Grant is often dismissed as a simple butcher of his troops. In fact, Grant was an inspired military leader with a genius for issuing lucid orders, maneuvering his troops adroitly, and making excellent use of his staff." "Grant is unfairly maligned because of the bloody 1864 campaigns he conducted against Robert E. Lee to secure final victory for the Union. A Vi ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Regnery History
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Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edward H. Bonekemper III is moving rapidly to fill the role of Ulysses S. Grant’s chief academic defender, attempting to reverse what he views as decades of ill-treatment at the hands of “lost cause” revisionists and the apathetic historians that have accepted their version of Grant’s military acumen a priori. There is truth in this. There is no doubt Grant’s reputation has suffered since his death in 1885. Southern historians, needing to explain away the defeat of their hero and exemplar of Sou ...more
Steven Voorhees
May 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ulysses Simpson Grant. A man who transcended mediocrity into magnificence. His leadership in the Civil War helped save the union (Abraham Lincoln didn't do it alone). Grant's military locus and what built it and sustained it is the focus of Bonekemper's analysis of Grant's authority during the war. The book is not a biography. But in his book's first chapter, Bonekemper surveys Grant's early life to set the stage for his participation in the war. Going chronologically from the start of the war t ...more
Steven Peterson
Mar 22, 2011 rated it liked it
A decently written book that explores the thesis, advertised in the title, that Ulysses S. Grant was "A Victor not a Butcher" as general. Certainly, I see sense in this thesis. His bold attack on Vicksburg is a wonderful piece of work. His tenacity in the campaign in Virginia in 1864 and 1865 is another testimony to his generalship. But this is scarcely a novel thesis. Many others have made the same point. And there is often something of a lack of detail.

Overall, a worthwhile book, but not a pat
David Wyatt
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is good, solid answer to the flawed "Myth of the Lost Cause" historiography that often treats Grant as if he were a poor general, or at least second fiddle to Robert E. Lee. It makes a clear case that Grant was a skilled general who accomplished much with limited bloodshed, learned quickly from his mistakes and had a clear strategic vision for how to defeat the South. It's a decent read, and good tonic against bad history.
I have been fascinated with Grant for a long time, so I launched into this book already knowing quite a lot about him and his career. But this book gave me a new, and necessary, perspective about him, his values, and his accomplishments, adding to my respect and appreciation of this very complex, resolute and resilient man.
Shirley Brown
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was basically a book about all of Grant's battles, his strategy, etc. I didn't find it interesting. It was presented like a Thesis, and would probably have gotten an "A". The research was impecable, but just not very exciting, and I didn't feel that I really learned any more about the man.
John Richley
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finally, some insight of the strategy and statistics of the Grant vs. Lee competition.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-civil-war
Thoroughly enjoyed this account after having read Grant's autobiography. I wish that there had been better battlefield maps included.
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