8 thoughts on “H. W. Brands on Why He Wrote on Grant

  1. michael confoy October 4, 2012 / 11:55 pm

    Can’t wait to read it.

  2. Brad October 5, 2012 / 4:01 am

    The original reasoning seems odd — if that’s the right word — to me: needing someone to fit into his master plan. I suppose a good question is why we choose the subjects that we do. The scattershot approach to history (rather than immersing yourself in a period or a subject) reminds me of the jack of all trades comment.

  3. Noma October 5, 2012 / 7:30 am

    Thanks for posting the talk. At least we get a little more idea of who he is.

    I was a little surprised that he chose Grant to understand a typical commanding leading general of the Civil War. Seems like any other general would have had more interest in the military as a young man. Grant does not seem to fill the requirement for a typical general.

    I’m still waiting to see what the book will be like. Still don’t feel like I have a clear sense of his unique take on Grant.

  4. John Foskett October 5, 2012 / 9:13 am

    I must be obtuse, because missing from the reasons is anything involving new insights, new information, or adding to the existing literature. Instead, it appears that this was written to fill a gap in “Brands’ Timeline of U.S. History As illustrated Through Biographies of Leading Figures.” The crowning touch is his explanation of why he didn’t choose the 16th President – “books on Lincoln were pouring off the presses”. Hmmm. You’d think this book was about Irvin McDowell.

  5. Will Hickox October 5, 2012 / 9:56 am

    Very interesting and rather strange. First he calls Grant a failure at everything in life other than war, and then praises his accomplishments as a president. I suspect that Brands, having his blog audience in mind, is drastically oversimplifying his interpretation and that his 736-page bio will offer deeper insights into Grant.

  6. Brad October 5, 2012 / 2:40 pm

    I was just at Barnes & Noble and they had the book front and center at 20 % off. I will wait. Picked up the Slotkin book. Want to see what the fuss is about 🙂

    BTW, Slotkin is on VBS tonight. However, the playoffs are on!

  7. rcocean October 5, 2012 / 3:13 pm

    So following the link I get nothing – is that what your point?

    • Brooks D. Simpson October 5, 2012 / 10:52 pm

      The link works just fine. I don’t understand your question.

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