Most historians today rate Ulysses S. Grant as a mediocre president at best. By contrast, Americans of the late 1860s and 1870s regarded Grant with an esteem that approached reverence. As the Union's head general, Ulysses Grant had relentlessly, methodically worn down the Confederate armies, thus bringing the terrible Civil War to an end, and making the Ohio native the most popular man in America. Grant rode this wave of popularity to the White House in 1868 and again in 1872. As this book shows, the childhood of Ulysses S. Grant foreshadowed the successes-and failures-America's 18th president would experience later in life. Self-reliant and solitary, the young Ulysses seemed to understand horses better than people; President Grant's administration would be plagued by scandals caused by advisers whose motives he'd misjudged. Yet the dogged determination and self-possession he'd first displayed as a child would serve Grant well in his military career and in his final, heroic battle with cancer.
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