U.S. GRANT AND THE AMERICAN MILITARY TRADITION by Bruce Catton
Kirkus Star

U.S. GRANT AND THE AMERICAN MILITARY TRADITION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bruce Catton's years of research into the history of the Civil War period are producing a substantial body of revealing historical recall. On Doubleday's list the trilogy:- Mr. Lincoln's Army; Glory Road; A Stillness at Appomatox; now this excellent one-volume biography against an analysis of military tradition. And- coming on Harper's list, a much needed one-volume biography of Robert E. Lee. Bruce Catton has a gift for writing military strategy and tactics and making them human and challenging. This stands him in good stead in this book, which compasses the whole of Grant's life, but sparks it with and through the military tradition which gave him stature. The man has gone down in history as an odd combination of things he was not. Bruce Catton does much to correct the picture, showing him as a ""campaigner of speed speed and brilliance"", ""an organizer and administrator as good as the best"", ""determination and strength of will incarnate"", ""a hard and straight thinker"". From years of discouragement in army life, of failure in civilian, he rose in ten years to the peak, yet in his triumph was the beginning of tragedy. The country was like him; it did not know what to do with victory won. Grant became the symbol rather than the cause of the darkness after the war. His two terms as president would seem to prove the dangers of a military man in the White House. But most of the dilemmas were in the making before he got there. His record is darkened by the ""might-have-beens"". All in all, while frankly admiring, this biography strikes a happy balance in assessing both the soldier and the man. With the Lloyd Lewis' definitive biography unfinished, this fills a real need.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1954
Publisher: Little, Brown