Perhaps my favorite Chernow book to date, which is saying a lot. I’m not sure if it’s because I learned much about Grant (growing up in the South, I knew little of his life before Vicksburg and after Appomattox, even though he served two terms as President) or because I found him relatable. Loyal to a fault, a little too eager to trust, he was a man ill-equipped for ordinary life yet seemed to thrive in a crisis.
As always, Chernow employs a full cast. The focus is on Grant, but by the end I felt invested in Washburne, Rawlins, Sherman, and even the hard-to-like members of his family.