ULYSSES S. GRANT: An Album

William S. McFeely, Author, Neil Giordano, Photographer . Norton $35 (144p) ISBN 978-0-393-02032-8

Correction: Due to a publisher's error, the ISBN for Little New York Bastard (Four Walls Eight Windows) was incorrect in the August 4 issue. The correct ISBN is 1-56858-274-9.

Illustrated BooksULYSSES S. GRANT: An AlbumWilliam S. McFeely. Norton, $35 (160p) ISBN 0-393-02032-0

The Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer of General Grant now offers this "album" of his life and works. The selection of 100 photographs and illustrations (deserving praise goes to researcher Neil Giordano) is superior, considering that only one pre–Civil War photograph of Grant exists. They do, however, lack captions, and the descriptions of them in the text are not always properly placed for easy identification. The text presents other problems: not all of McFeely's seven essays on different aspects of Grant—emancipator, fond husband, photographic subject, world traveler, author of a superb autobiography—are equally well composed, and the pieces on Grant's opposition to slavery don't say enough about how he managed Reconstruction as president. The author also goes to the lengths of referring to Julia Grant as "silly" without supporting his case. The essay on the photographs of Grant is concise and cogent, however, and includes some wartime magazine illustrations that have to be seen to be believed. McFeely also does full justice to Grant's memoirs. One has the feeling that the author returned to this familiar subject as something of a labor of love, without conceding anything to the novice student of Grant or the Civil War. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 08/18/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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