18 books like Campaigning with Grant

By Horace Porter,

Here are 18 books that Campaigning with Grant fans have personally recommended if you like Campaigning with Grant. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

Craig Fehrman Author Of Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote

From my list on written by American presidents.

Why am I passionate about this?

Craig Fehrman spent ten years writing Author in Chief, his book on presidents and the books they wrote. When readers would learn about his research, they'd always ask -- "Are any of them worth reading?" The answer turned out to be a definitive yes! Presidential books have won elections, redefined careers, and shaped America's place in the world. It's easy to eye-roll at modern political volumes, but for most of American history, books have been our popular culture -- and presidential books have changed our nation. Here are a few of the books that will reward readers today. 

Craig's book list on written by American presidents

Craig Fehrman Why did Craig love this book?

Grant’s book is deservingly celebrated as the best presidential book, even if it's mostly a work of military history. Still, my favorite parts are the character descriptions. They show a surprising side of Grant: as a reader, he was America’s first full-blown fiction-loving president, and his obsession with novels clearly influenced his own writing. If you have the Library of America edition, you can quickly turn to the book’s sketch of Lincoln (page 469), which captures that president’s graciousness, and the sketch of Robert E. Lee (page 732), which captures Grant’s.

By John F. Marszalek, Ulysses S. Grant,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This fine volume leaps straight onto the roster of essential reading for anyone even vaguely interested in Grant and the Civil War. The book is deeply researched, but it introduces its scholarship with a light touch that never interferes with the reader's enjoyment of Grant's fluent narrative."-Ron Chernow, author of Grant

Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs, sold door-to-door by former Union soldiers, were once as ubiquitous in American households as the Bible. Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein, Henry James, and Edmund Wilson hailed them as great literature, and countless presidents, including Clinton and George W. Bush, credit Grant with influencing their own…


Book cover of Grant Moves South

Donald L. Miller Author Of Vicksburg: Grant's Campaign That Broke the Confederacy

From my list on the life of Ulysses S. Grant.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written ten books, four of them prize-winning best sellers, but this is my first book on the Civil War. Fortunately, it’s been generously received. The Wall Street Journal declared it “an epic story” and “rattling good history,” while Pulitzer Prize-winning James M. McPherson declared it “the fullest and best history of the Vicksburg campaign.“ Another Pulitzer receipient, David Blight, praised it for its “sizzling and persuasive prose. Miller has found the way,” he said, “to write both military and emancipation history in one profound package.”

Donald's book list on the life of Ulysses S. Grant

Donald L. Miller Why did Donald love this book?

The war’s greatest military historian takes on its greatest military figure in Bruce Catton’s spirited two-volume classic: Grant Moves South and Grant Takes Command. Written decades ago, these paired volumes remain the finest historical account of Grant’s triumphant Civil War career. In the opening volume, we meet the recently minted brigadier in September 1861 as he prepares to join his army at desolate Cairo, Illinois, having just recovered from a succession of crushing personal failures. In the concluding volume, we leave him at Petersburg Virginia in April 1865, after he demolishes R. E. Lee’s army in the climactic battle of the war. Wannabe revisionists think Catton is outdated. Don’t believe them.

By Bruce Catton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grant Moves South as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first part of the military biography of Ulysses S. Grant and follows Grant from the summer of 1861 when he takes on his first Civil War command through battles at Belmont, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth and Vicksburg to the summer of 1863. The author has used letters, diaries and despatches in order to provide a rounded picture of this general's personality. "Grant Takes Command" forms the second part of this biography.


Book cover of Ulysses S. Grant; His Life and Character

Donald L. Miller Author Of Vicksburg: Grant's Campaign That Broke the Confederacy

From my list on the life of Ulysses S. Grant.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written ten books, four of them prize-winning best sellers, but this is my first book on the Civil War. Fortunately, it’s been generously received. The Wall Street Journal declared it “an epic story” and “rattling good history,” while Pulitzer Prize-winning James M. McPherson declared it “the fullest and best history of the Vicksburg campaign.“ Another Pulitzer receipient, David Blight, praised it for its “sizzling and persuasive prose. Miller has found the way,” he said, “to write both military and emancipation history in one profound package.”

Donald's book list on the life of Ulysses S. Grant

Donald L. Miller Why did Donald love this book?

Published in 1898 and now largely forgotten, this book is the only oral history we have of Grant. Garland, a substantial nineteenth-century literary figure, spent two years locating and interviewing people who knew Grant—generals and privates, family and neighbors in St. Louis and Galena, Illinois. Grant was a self-enclosed man, but he opened up to those he knew and trusted. It would be impossible to write a reliable life study of him without consulting Garland’s superb biography, or reading the transcripts of his interviews, which can be found in his papers at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Memorial Library.

By Hamlin Garland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ulysses S. Grant; His Life and Character as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Book cover of U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Author Of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution

From my list on American presidents who left their mark on history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by power and how people use it. From the time I was tiny, I’ve loved reading about how people left their fingerprint on history, and boy, do presidents leave their mark. Given these interests, it’s unsurprising that I’ve been my career this far examining how early presidents crafted the executive branch. The president’s oversized role in American life is also at the heart of my podcast work (I cohost The Past, The Promise, The Presidency with the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Each season we explore a different element of the presidency and its relationship to history). In my future scholarship, I plan to continue this exploration long after George Washington left office. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime enjoy these great reads!

Lindsay's book list on American presidents who left their mark on history

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Why did Lindsay love this book?

There are so many fantastic new biographies of Ulysses S. Grant. U.S. Grant is particularly good for a one-volume biography. It’s an incredibly fair treatment and does a great job of showing Grant’s cultural importance as a symbol for national reunification after the war. Waugh also demonstrates why Grant has been underappreciated by previous historians and generations, and why he deserves more recognition.

By Joan Waugh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked U. S. Grant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the time of his death, Ulysses S. Grant was the most famous person in America, considered by most citizens to be equal in stature to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Yet today his monuments are rarely visited, his military reputation is overshadowed by that of Robert E. Lee, and his presidency is permanently mired at the bottom of historical rankings. In an insightful blend of biography and cultural history, Joan Waugh traces Grant's shifting national and international reputation, illuminating the role of memory in our understanding of American history. Using a wide range of written and visual sources--newspaper articles,…


Book cover of Days of Glory: The Army of the Cumberland, 1861–1867

David Powell Author Of Maps of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign

From my list on the American Civil War in the western theater.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the American Civil War since I was 8 years old. I have been a serious student of the subject since my college years, where I majored in American History. I have played and designed boardgames concerning battles of the war, including a number of games on battles in the Western Theater, I have been a living historian and reenactor, and now, an author-published by both academic and popular presses. The battle of Chickamauga became a serious interest as early as 1979.

David's book list on the American Civil War in the western theater

David Powell Why did David love this book?

Larry J. Daniel’s history of the Federal Army of the Cumberland—the Army of Tennessee’s main opponent for much of the war—provides a thorough, insightful examination of that army; the first since the 19th Century. The Army of the Cumberland (first known as the Army of the Ohio) was named for the Cumberland River, which drainage became the army’s area of operations for much of the first half of the war. Commanded successively by Don Carlos Buell, William Starke Rosecrans, and finally, George H. Thomas, the Army of the Cumberland has received far less attention in Civil War than its two rivals, the Armies of the Potomac (in Virginia) and the Army of the Tennessee (in Mississippi.) Daniel’s work addresses that imbalance, and in doing so, brings the army’s officers and men to life.

George Thomas was, like Robert E. Lee, a Virginian; unlike Lee, he chose to remain in the…

By Larry J. Daniel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Days of Glory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A potent fighting force that changed the course of the Civil War, the Army of the Cumberland was the North's second-most-powerful army, surpassed in size only by the Army of the Potomac. The Cumberland army engaged the enemy across five times more territory with one-third to one-half fewer men than the Army of the Potomac, and yet its achievements in the western theater rivaled those of the larger eastern army. In Days of Glory, Larry J. Daniel brings his analytic and descriptive skills to bear on the Cumberlanders as he explores the dynamics of discord, political infighting, and feeble leadership…


Book cover of Grant Takes Command

Lance Weller Author Of Wilderness

From my list on American Civil War history reads like literature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came to Civil War studies fairly late in life but still relatively callow, by a route too roundabout to explain. But after reading James McPherson’s, Battle Cry of Freedom (there’s a bonus book!), I found I had a love of every facet of the era. The only thing I’d ever wanted to be was a writer and, as I delved deeper into the vast body of literature on the American Civil War, I finally felt as if I’d found the subject I could pour all my passion into (that and my enduring love of dogs). My novel Wilderness, along with a few novels published in French, was the result.

Lance's book list on American Civil War history reads like literature

Lance Weller Why did Lance love this book?

Bruce Catton wrote extensively about the noble but ill-starred Army of the Potomac and is widely known for his wonderful trilogy recounting that army’s path through the American Civil War. With Grant Takes Command, Catton looks west for a time toward General Ulysses S. Grant and how he came east to lead all the Union armies toward eventual victory. Recounting Grant’s (and the country’s) journey from the opening of the cracker line in Chattanooga in 1863, through the Battle of the Wilderness (a subject that captured my imagination!) and the Overland Campaign and on to Appomattox Courthouse and the surrender of the Confederacy, Catton’s book moves through its narrative with a style and verve to match any piece of gripping fiction. 

By Bruce Catton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Grant Takes Command as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Forming the second part in Grant's biography, the sequel to "Grant Moves South" follows his victory at Chattanooga and subsequent promotion to Commander-in-Chief of the Union forces. The book also provides information as to how the Civil War was won and follows Grant as he directs military operations throughout the last year of the war. The author has won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.


Book cover of Grant

Ron McFarland Author Of Edward J. Steptoe and the Indian Wars: Life on the Frontier, 1815-1865

From my list on biographies of army officers who wrested the West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a retired English prof with a lifelong interest in history. My father fostered my fascination with Civil War battlefields, and growing up in Florida, I studied the Seminole wars in school and later at FSU. While teaching at the University of Idaho (nearly 50 years), I pursued my interest in the Indian wars of the mid-19th century and developed a curiosity about tribes in the inland Northwest, notably the Coeur d’Alene, Spokane, and Nez Perce. My critical biography of Blackfeet novelist James Welch occasioned reading and research on the Plains tribes. I recommend his nonfiction book, Killing Custer: The Battle of Little Bighorn and the Fate the Plains Indians.

Ron's book list on biographies of army officers who wrested the West

Ron McFarland Why did Ron love this book?

I’m admittedly self-impressed, having read this volume of nearly a thousand papers, poky reader that I am. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer strikes me as little short of brilliant with this masterpiece on Ulysses S. Grant, whose military career began with distinguished service in the Mexican War and overlaps with that of Steptoe, subject of my biography. Chernow focuses much of his book on Grant’s Civil War service, but his relevance to my theme is the subject of Grant’s presidency, taken up in later pages. Like many officers who served in the West before and after the Civil War, Grant recognized that white incursions on Indian lands were largely to blame for the violence out West, and he was sympathetic to their plight. Custer’s defeat occurred during Grant’s second administration.

By Ron Chernow,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Grant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller and New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2017

"Eminently readable but thick with import . . . Grant hits like a Mack truck of knowledge." -Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic

Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant.

Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't…


Book cover of A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists

Ruth Brandon Author Of Surreal Lives: The Surrealists 1917-1945

From my list on group biographies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love writing group biographies (I‘ve written four and my next book, Spellbound by Marcel: Duchamp, Love, and Art, will be another). I enjoy the intellectual scope they offer, the way they let you explore a world. I’m less interested in the details of individual lives than in the opportunity biography offers to explore social history, and group biography is particularly suited to that. They’re not easy to do, it’s no good putting down just one damn life after another, but I enjoy the challenge of finding the shape that will let me fit everyone’s personalities and ideas into a coherent story. 

Ruth's book list on group biographies

Ruth Brandon Why did Ruth love this book?

Cohen spent a year driving through America accompanied only by two crates of books. She realised, reading them, how many of their authors had met, more or less significantly, one another, from Mark Twain and Henry James to James Baldwin and Elizabeth Bishop. The result was this daisy-chain book. It’s fascinating, illuminating, and utterly charming.

By Rachel Cohen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Chance Meeting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Each chapter of A Chance Meeting takes up an actual encounter between two historical figures. As Rachel Cohen writes in her introduction: 'They met in ordinary ways - a careful arrangement after long admiration, a friend's casual introduction, or because they both just happened to be standing near the drinks. They talked to each other for a few hours or for forty years, and later it seemed to them impossible that they could have missed each other.' A Chance Meeting opens with a young Henry James in the studio of the great Civil War photographer Mathew Brady, and captures the…


Book cover of The Captain Departs: Ulysses S. Grant's Last Campaign

Louis Picone Author Of The President Is Dead!: The Extraordinary Stories of Presidential Deaths, Final Days, Burials, and Beyond

From my list on the deaths of American presidents.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a presidential historian with a particular focus on their deaths, public mourning, and the places we commemorate them. My interest in what I like to think of as “the final chapter of each president’s amazing story” grew out of frustration with traditional biographies that end abruptly when the president dies, and I believe my books pick up where others leave off. More than a moribund topic, I find the presidential deaths and public reaction to be both fascinating and critical to understanding their humanity and place in history at the time of their passing and how each of their legacies evolved over time.

Louis' book list on the deaths of American presidents

Louis Picone Why did Louis love this book?

Fifty years after its publication, this book remains a classic.

As a historian of Presidential deaths, I appreciate the deep and detailed research of Grant's tragic and triumphal final year. Pitkin’s book is all the more impressive because he bucked popular sentiment at a time when Grant’s reputation was at a nadir due to the popularity of the myth of the Southern Lost Cause. Pitkin practically places the reader in Grant’s New York brownstone and the Mount McGregor cottage as the heroic general completes his memoirs while enduring immense pain to provide financial security for his family.

This book helps explain why the public honored Ulysses Grant with the largest tomb ever built in American history, before or since. 

By Thomas M. Pitkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Captain Departs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Early in 1885 Americans learned that General Grant was writing his Memoirs in a desperate race for time against an incurable cancer. Not generally known was the General's precarious personal fi nances, made so by imprudent invest ments, and his gallant effort to provide for his family by his writing. For six months newspaper readers followed the dramatic contest, and the hearts of Americans were touched by the General's last battle. Grant's last year was one of both per sonal and literary triumph in the midst of tragedy, as Thomas M. Pitkin shows in this memorable and inspiring book. The…


Book cover of Sherman's Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865

Candice Shy Hooper Author Of Lincoln's Generals' Wives: Four Women Who Influenced the Civil War--For Better and for Worse

From my list on William Tecumseh Sherman.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fated to write about war. Born on Guam to a Navy hospital corpsman and his intrepid wife, I spent four years on tank-littered beaches of Saipan and sailed to Japan on a U.S. Navy LST at the age of seven. When I graduated from college with a major in journalism, a Navy man, the late great Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson hired me as his press secretary, and we talked military history even as he made it in Afghanistan. Thirty-three years later, I went back to school for an MA in History. As I write, my great grandfather’s bugle from the Spanish-American War and the flag that covered my father’s coffin at his Arlington Cemetery funeral sit atop my shelves of military history books.

Candice's book list on William Tecumseh Sherman

Candice Shy Hooper Why did Candice love this book?

Who doesn’t like to read other people’s mail? And if you’re going to do it, why not read the best? Sherman was as prolific as he was eloquent. Brooks Simpson and Jean Berlin, two of our best Civil War scholars, compiled and annotated hundreds of Sherman’s wartime letters to his family, friends, and enemies.

Though he was often circumspect in his letters, fearing they might be stolen and published by the newspapers he hated, you can feel the emotion in his letters that you don’t find in his Memoirs. Every page contains a thought, a sentence, a phrase that stays in the reader’s mind.

“You remember what Polonius spoke to his son Laertes, ‘Beware a quarrel, but being in, bear it, that thy oppressor may beware of thee.’ What is true of a single man is equally true of a Nation.”

By Brooks D. Simpson (editor), Jean V. Berlin (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sherman's Civil War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first major modern edition of the wartime correspondence of General William T. Sherman, this volume features more than 400 letters written between the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and the day Sherman bade farewell to his troops in 1865. Together, they trace Sherman's rise from obscurity to become one of the Union's most famous and effective warriors.
Arranged chronologically and grouped into chapters that correspond to significant phases in Sherman's life, the letters--many of which have never before been published--reveal Sherman's thoughts on politics, military operations, slavery and emancipation, the South, and daily life in the Union army,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Ulysses S. Grant, presidential biography, and the American Civil War?

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