Josiah Bunting, III, Author . Times $20 (180p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6949-5

This study is among the best in the notable series of short presidential biographies presided over by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. While recent biographers have taken a more sympathetic view of Grant than formerly, Bunting goes further to show that Grant possessed that rarest quality among American presidents: nobility of character. He acknowledges Grant's youthful tippling and the defects of his presidency. But as a veteran military officer himself, Bunting (An Education for Our Time ) captures Grant's brilliance as a strategist, his quiet compassion, his firm judgment and his humanity as the Union's principal military leader. Then, where other historians hold Grant's administration responsible for many of the failures of Reconstruction, Bunting believes Grant was in his era "the central force in the achievement of civil rights for blacks, the most stalwart and most reliable among all American presidents for the next eighty years." What's more, Bunting does as good a job as possible in making sense of Grant's difficult presidency. If at times the author excuses Grant too much for his handling of scandal and for the consequences of his unwavering loyalty to friends, his defense is well within the bounds of credibility. This superb book should support those who are gradually moving Grant from the lower to the upper half of rankings of chief executives. Agent, Tina Bennett. (Sept. 8)

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Hardcover - 319 pages - 978-0-7862-7074-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-59397-542-5
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4668-2610-6
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