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Grant and Lee: A Study in Personality and Generalship
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Grant and Lee: A Study in Personality and Generalship

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  14 reviews
..". cuts squarely across the accepted tradition... Fuller examines these two great soldiers from a fresh viewpoint and refuses to let himself be bound by tradition." --New York Times Book Review

..". readable, instructive, stimulating, and... controversial as when first published." --Military Review

First published fifty years ago, Fuller's study of Ulysses S. Grant and Rob
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 1982 by Indiana University Press (first published September 1st 1957)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  106 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Eric
Fuller's campaign narratives are often colorless, his introduction to antebellum America is a weird collage of Lost Cause tropes and Stephen Vincent Benet stanzas (!), but his brilliant analysis of the capabilities and peculiarities of Grant and Lee, as well as of the fearful political muddle on each side, excuses the book's dated mannerisms. One instructive point: if you're planning to launch a rebellion against political authority possessed of greater resources, you had better get your shit to ...more
Brook Finlayson
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Iconoclastic as always, Fuller picks Grant over the historian's darling (and mine), Robert E. Lee as the better general. Strong argument, extensive research, and convincing logic. Don't read Fuller unless you're ready for someone to mess with your preconceptions.
Chad Foster
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
J.F.C. Fuller’s analysis and comparison of the generalship of Grant and Lee is remarkable for its conclusion: that Grant was the superior general. This conclusion would not be in the least bit controversial were it not for the cult of Lee-worshipers that emerged after the Civil War and have largely dominated the historiography ever since. Faulty analysis, lazy research, barely concealed bias, and outright fabrication have elevated Lee to sainthood and, until recent years, relegated Grant to the ...more
Rob Williams
Grand and Lee from JFC Fuller is an exceptional exploration into the decision-making and personalities of the two famous generals from the American Civil War. Fuller makes an excellent analysis on why Grant emerged the superior officer and victor despite the prevailing memory of Lee’s superiority of leadership. Fuller’s primary reasoning in their difference of abilities and the difference in outcome lies in Lees over reliance on religion and chance. Grant, on the other hand, does not believe in ...more
Steve
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author was a British general and he gives a non- partisan look at the generalship of Grant and Lee, the former underestimated and the latter perhaps overrated by most historians. The book game me some new insights on the Civil War from a career military man, especially concerning grand strategy, technology change, and political leadership. Worth the read.
Mike
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was an easy reading book. Very well written and I enjoyed the history
Scott
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Personally I prefer reading historical fiction to dry textbook material, and although this book takes an analytical rather than anecdotal approach to the generalships of Grant & Lee, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this text. Of course, my delight in this material is most certainly affected by my interest in all things "civil war".

The author, Maj Gen Fuller, took a very contrary view from that which was commonly held at the time of publication in 1932; namely that Le
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Kyle
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: civil-war
I just can't get enough of everyones favorite british nazi. This book reinforces the points made in his biography of Grant's generalship, but more directly attacks Lee's at the same time. It's excellent to have your pre-conceved notions of each general challenged, but I can't help but feel that Fuller's analysis is hurt by his steadfast determination to put Grant above Lee as a general. Not that I disagree with him, his analysis is harsh but fair to Lee, it's just that it's typically only fair, ...more
Mike Prochot
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: americana
Tad archaic (1957 copywright) grammar, but easy to get into once you get past the first pages and settle down into the swing of Maj. Gen Fuller's story telling cadence.

The short of it; Lee's results arguably don't deserve the legend they have become over time, Grant's pre and post war biography - for good or for bad - usually overshadow the results he achieved as a General.

My take; the South had the success it did arguably in large part because of the type of leader Lee was. Conversely, the So
...more
Landon
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
An excellent study of the two generals. Fuller was not only an eminently qualified general officer, fully capable of rendering an expert analysis of both men's generalship, but also, as an Englishman, relatively unaffected by the beatification of Lee that took place in American Civil War history scholarship in the first half of the twentieth century. The seminal work in dismantling the "Lost Cause" mythology and, particularly, its undue ennobling of Lee as a sainted figure who could do no wrong ...more
Kate
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First published in 1957 this book is a definitive study of the personalities of US Grant and Robert E Lee and how their personalities along with the era in which they lived drive their conduct during the Civil War. Neither was as history records them without taking into consideration these two factors. Grant was not the butcher nor Lee the idolized saint. Both their flaws and strengths on and off the battlefield are examined, compared and contrasted resulting in a very enlightening and thought-p ...more
William
Mar 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Pretty interesting book. Flips on your head what you think about Lee and Grant. Though it gets into some specific details, it has a lot to cover in about 175 pages, so it feels like more could've been included. An amazing writer though.
Tom Darrow
Very dry and outdated by the standards of today's scholarship.
Richard Miller
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it
A good study of contrasts of these two supreme generals. It has spurred me to want to read more about both men . If you are a Civil War buff , then you may want to read this book.
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Major-General John Frederick Charles Fuller, CB, CBE, DSO was a British Army officer (1899–1933), military historian and strategist, notable as an early theorist of modern armoured warfare, including categorising principles of warfare.

Fuller was also an early disciple of English poet and magician Aleister Crowley and was very familiar with his, and other forms of, magick and mysticism.
“He won the Civil War for the North, and re-established the Union which today has grown into the vastest consolidated power since the fall of Rome. He fought some of the greatest campaigns in history; was never defeated, and after the war was twice chosen by his countrymen as their President. If there is not food for myth here, where shall we seek it? His story is as amazing as Napoleon's, and as startling as Lenin's; yet enigma he lived and enigma he died, and though occasion was propitious and circumstances were favorable, enigma he remains.” 1 likes
“He won the Civil War for the North, and re-established the Union which today has grown into the vastest consolidated power since the fall of Rome. He fought some of the great campaigns in history; was never defeated, and after the war was twice chosen by his countrymen as their President. If there is not food for myth here, where shall we seek it? His story is as amazing as Napoleon's, and as startling as Lenin's; yet enigma he lived and enigma he died, and though occasion was propitious and circumstances were favorable, enigma he remains.” 0 likes
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