100 books like Grant

By Ron Chernow,

Here are 100 books that Grant fans have personally recommended if you like 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 For Cause and Comrade: Why Men Fought in the Civil War

Douglas R. Egerton Author Of Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America

From my list on Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize winners.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father’s ancestors had deep ties to the South, owning slaves in North Carolina and fighting for the Confederacy. Raised in a household that was also home to a paternal grandmother born in Nashville in 1885, I grew up fascinated by the troubled, complicated world of the Old South. Over the years I have written nine books, all of which chronicle the intersections of race and politics in the nineteenth century. Since 1987 I have had the pleasure of teaching about the Civil War era to students in my home institution of Le Moyne College, but also at Colgate University, Cornell University, and the University College Dublin. Those classes never witnessed a dull moment.

Douglas' book list on Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize winners

Douglas R. Egerton Why did Douglas love this book?

James McPherson, the dean of Civil War scholars, is known to most readers as the author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, far and away the best single-volume history of the conflict. But this volume, which came out roughly a decade later in 1997, was one of the first military histories to move beyond generals and commanders and examine why common soldiers enlisted and remained loyal to their fellows even as the bloody conflict dragged on.

After reading tens of thousands of letters and diaries of more than one thousand U.S. and C.S.A. soldiers, McPherson opens previously shuttered windows into their hearts and minds. Their letters home reveal both the tedium and terror of numerous campaigns, and most of all, show how common soldiers were forced to wrestle with the issue of slavery, with northern soldiers, rather like their commander-in-chief, increasingly committed to ending the South’s…

By James M. McPherson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked For Cause and Comrade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

General John A. Wickham, commander of the famous 101st Airborne Division in the 1970s and subsequently Army Chief of Staff, once visited Antietam battlefield. Gazing at Bloody Lane where, in 1862, several Union assaults were brutally repulsed before they finally broke through, he marveled, `You couldn't get American soldiers today to make an attack like that.' Why did those men risk certain death, over and over again, through countless bloody battles and four long,
awful years ? Why did the conventional wisdom - that soldiers become increasingly cynical and disillusioned as war progresses - not hold true in the Civil…


Book cover of Gettysburg: The Last Invasion

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?

Part of the enduring popularity of the Battle of Gettysburg studies, is that the battle offers a true microcosm of the American Civil War—from politics to personalities. A meeting engagement, a desperate struggle, a turning point, and human tragedy on a scale the continent had never seen before, the events of those three days in July still resonant down the years. Guelzo’s book, besides being one of the most recent, offers wonderful descriptions of every facet of the battle with finely-crafted prose and a pacing that will keep readers invested from start to finish.

By Allen C. Guelzo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History

An Economist Best Book of the Year

A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

The Battle of Gettysburg has been written about at length and thoroughly dissected in terms of strategic importance, but never before has a book taken readers so close to the experience of the individual soldier.

Two-time Lincoln Prize winner Allen C. Guelzo shows us the face, the sights and the sounds of nineteenth-century combat: the stone walls and gunpowder clouds of Pickett’s Charge; the reason that the Army of Northern Virginia could be smelled before it…


Book cover of 1861: The Civil War Awakening

Fergus M. Bordewich Author Of Congress at War: How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America

From my list on the American Civil War from a popular historian.

Why am I passionate about this?

Fergus M. Bordewich is an American writer and popular historian. He is the author of eight nonfiction books and a frequent public speaker at universities, radio, and television. As a journalist, he has traveled extensively in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, writing on politics, economic issues, culture, and history, on subjects ranging from the civil war in Burma, religious repression in China, Islamic fundamentalism, German reunification, the Irish economy, Kenya's population crisis, and many others.

Fergus' book list on the American Civil War from a popular historian

Fergus M. Bordewich Why did Fergus love this book?

The outbreak of the Civil War was not a single event as simple as the firing on Fort Sumter or reducible to a clear clash of ideologies. In this erudite yet intensely readable book, Goodheart captures with equal brio the grand sweep of events and the maneuvering of political men South and North, and – most compellingly of all – the dawning of the war in the lives of men and women both famous and unknown, from New England Transcendentalists, to the fiery abolitionist orator Abbey Kelley, to the wily lawyer-turned-soldier Benjamin Butler, whose clever legal maneuver early in the war opened to door to the northward hemorrhaging of tens of thousands of black slaves.

By Adam Goodheart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1861 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gripping and original account of how the Civil War began and a second American revolution unfolded, setting Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom.
 
An epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields, 1861 introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes—among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer’s wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president. Their stories take us from the corridors of…


Book cover of River Run Red: The Fort Pillow Massacre in the American Civil War

Fergus M. Bordewich Author Of Congress at War: How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America

From my list on the American Civil War from a popular historian.

Why am I passionate about this?

Fergus M. Bordewich is an American writer and popular historian. He is the author of eight nonfiction books and a frequent public speaker at universities, radio, and television. As a journalist, he has traveled extensively in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, writing on politics, economic issues, culture, and history, on subjects ranging from the civil war in Burma, religious repression in China, Islamic fundamentalism, German reunification, the Irish economy, Kenya's population crisis, and many others.

Fergus' book list on the American Civil War from a popular historian

Fergus M. Bordewich Why did Fergus love this book?

More than 170,000 African Americans served in the Union Army and navy during the Civil War. From 1863 on, they performed heroically on many battlefields, most famously at the assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston Harbor, as dramatically depicted in the film “Glory.” Much less well-known was the deliberate slaughter of nearly two hundred black federal troops at Fort Pillow, Tennessee in 1864, by Confederate forces led by Nathan Bedford Forrest, a prewar slaver trader and a postwar leader of the Ku Klux Klan. It was the worst wartime atrocity committed on U.S. soil outside the Indian wars. What happened at Fort Pillow demonstrated the additional risk that every black soldier in blue faced: not just injury, but murder or reenslavement by the enemy. Ward’s account moves at a pounding pace. More than the account of a single battle, it places the role of black troops in the larger context…

By Andrew Ward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked River Run Red as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An account of the controversial April 1864 Civil War battle between Confederate cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest and a garrison of Unionists and former slave artillerymen offers insight into how corruption and racism in occupied Tennessee played a role in the Confederate victory and how Forrest went on to found the Ku Klux Klan. By the author of Dark Midnight When I Rise. 30,000 first printing.


Book cover of A Stillness at Appomattox

Bruce L. Brager Author Of Grant's Victory: How Ulysses S. Grant Won the Civil War

From my list on leadership in the American Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

The writer part should be obvious. I write books under my own name and as a ghostwriter. But also, like any good writer, I am a reader. The earliest books I recall reading, after Dick and Jane, were books on American history, in particular the American Civil War. When I looked to write on my own, this was the first area I looked into. Write what you know. Write what you like to read.

Bruce's book list on leadership in the American Civil War

Bruce L. Brager Why did Bruce love this book?

These are the first books I read on the American Civil War as an adult (thank you, History Book Club). Catton lets the reader march with the Army of the Potomac through the war in the east. You don’t just learn what happened, and why. You feel what it was like to be there. Catton never forgets the need to make history a good read as well as a way to transmit information. 

By Bruce Catton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Stillness at Appomattox as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Recounting the final year of the Civil War, this classic volume by Bruce Catton won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for excellence in non-fiction.

In this final volume of the Army of the Potomac Trilogy, Catton, America's foremost Civil War historian, takes the reader through the battles of the Wilderness, the Bloody Angle, Cold Harbot, the Crater, and on through the horrible months to one moment at Appomattox. Grant, Meade, Sheridan, and Lee vividly come to life in all their failings and triumphs.


Book cover of Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn

D'Arcy Jenish Author Of Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West

From my list on the exploraton of the West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist, the author of 10 works of popular history, and, latterly, a playwright. For nearly 25 years, I have earned a living on the strength of my own writing. I have written one full-length play that was produced at an outdoor summer theatre in July 2023, and I have written three short plays for the Port Hope, Ontario Arts Festival. I now live in Peterborough, Ontario, about 90 miles northeast of Toronto, but have had a lifelong interest in the history of western North America by dint of having grown up in southeastern Saskatchewan and having worked as a journalist in Alberta in the early 1980s.  

D'Arcy's book list on the exploraton of the West

D'Arcy Jenish Why did D'Arcy love this book?

I loved this book enough to read it twice. In fact, felt compelled to read it twice because of Connell’s amazing portrayal of Custer and dozens of other figures, both American and Native American, both well-known and obscure.

The battle of the Little Bighorn lasted only a few hours but had an amazing impact, and Connell tells the story with remarkable originality.     

By Evan S. Connell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Son of the Morning Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On a scorching June Sunday in 1876, thousands of Indian warriors - Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho - converged on a grassy ridge above the valley of Montana's Little Bighorn River. On the ridge five companies of United States cavalry - 262 soldiers, comprising officers and troopers - fought desperately but hopelessly. When the guns fell silent, no soldier - including their commanding officer, Lt Col. George Armstrong Custer - had survived. Custer's Last Stand is among the most enduring events in American history - 130 years after the fact, books continue to be written and people continue to argue…


Book cover of Pickett's Charge

Bruce L. Brager Author Of Grant's Victory: How Ulysses S. Grant Won the Civil War

From my list on leadership in the American Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

The writer part should be obvious. I write books under my own name and as a ghostwriter. But also, like any good writer, I am a reader. The earliest books I recall reading, after Dick and Jane, were books on American history, in particular the American Civil War. When I looked to write on my own, this was the first area I looked into. Write what you know. Write what you like to read.

Bruce's book list on leadership in the American Civil War

Bruce L. Brager Why did Bruce love this book?

The subtitle of this book is A Microhistory of the Final Attack at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. This puts it well. This is virtually a “real-time” history of one of the most significant battles in American History. It is well documented and the book is very well written. It places the reader in the battle as the fate of the United States hangs in the balance.

By George R. Stewart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book covers a critical part of the Battle of Gettysburg.


Book cover of A Government of Our Own: The Making of the Confederacy

George C. Rable Author Of Conflict of Command: George McClellan, Abraham Lincoln, and the Politics of War

From my list on the American Civil War beyond the usual battles.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been researching and writing about the era of the American Civil War for something over half a century. My passion for the subject remains strong today, having just published my seventh book. Given the seemingly endless amounts of material from soldiers and civilians alike, I have enjoyed deeply researching neglected subjects and writing about them in a way that appeals to both historians and general readers. For me the Civil War never grows stale, there are always little-used sources to research and fresh ideas to consider. The American Civil is omnipresent in my life—not excluding weekends and holidays!   

George's book list on the American Civil War beyond the usual battles

George C. Rable Why did George love this book?

A Government of Our is a richly textured history of the formation of the Confederate States of America replete with high drama and compelling characters. 

This is political history in the grand narrative tradition grounded in excellent research and provocative assessments. Davis renders sharp judgments on his subjects in often pungent prose. 

This is a book to savor and enjoy as the author presents his story in loving detail. Here is a fascinating mix of the personal and the political, the humorous and the sad, the ironic and the bizarre.

By William C. Davis,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Government of Our Own as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Recounts the formation of the Confederacy, looks at the political forces that shaped it, and discusses the impact of slavery.


Book cover of The Passing of the Armies

Bruce L. Brager Author Of Grant's Victory: How Ulysses S. Grant Won the Civil War

From my list on leadership in the American Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

The writer part should be obvious. I write books under my own name and as a ghostwriter. But also, like any good writer, I am a reader. The earliest books I recall reading, after Dick and Jane, were books on American history, in particular the American Civil War. When I looked to write on my own, this was the first area I looked into. Write what you know. Write what you like to read.

Bruce's book list on leadership in the American Civil War

Bruce L. Brager Why did Bruce love this book?

This is a reprint of the original edition from 1915. Chamberlain, the Maine general and hero of Little Round Top, was also a brigade commander in the last campaigns of the war in the east. Chamberlain tells the story of the end of the American Civil War, through the ceremonial surrender at Appomattox, which Chamberlain supervised and the parade in Washington DC. 

On the last page of his book, Chamberlain quotes the June 28, 1865 general orders of the Army of the Potomac, “ . . . this army, as an organization, ceases to exist.”  A one-time aspiring minister, Chamberlain is writing religiously when he adds “Ceases to exist!  Are you sure about that?” A century and a half later there is still a clear picture of the Army of the Potomac and the whole period remains a clear part of our historical memory. This book is well worth reading.  

By Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Joshua Chamberlain's "The Passing of the Armies" is one of the classic books of Civil War history. When it was posthumously published in 1915, it received acclaim for its Victorian prose and accuracy in bringing to life the final twelve days of the war in Virginia. Although highly critical of Sheridan and defensive of the operations of his Fifth Corps, Chamberlain's work is an important contribution to the true story of this intense fighting. It is an important contribution by a contemporary who, as a distinguished Union officer, witnessed the events he wrote about. "The Passing of the Armies" is…


Book cover of Civil War Barons: The Tycoons, Entrepreneurs, Inventors, and Visionaries Who Forged Victory and Shaped a Nation

Nick Vulich Author Of 1861

From my list on capturing the essence of the Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

What could be cooler to a kid growing up in the 1960s and 1970s than the Civil War? TV spoon-fed us westerns—Bonanza, F-Troop, The Lone Ranger, and The Wild, Wild West. Many of the stories were set during the Civil War or had characters molded by it. And then, somewhere in the mid-1960s, my parents took me to a civil war reenactment. Guns cracked. Cannons boomed, and men fell. I was hooked. I’ve devoured every Civil War book I could get my hands on for the past fifty years and watched every movie remotely connected to the subject. So, it’s only natural I wrote a book about it.

Nick's book list on capturing the essence of the Civil War

Nick Vulich Why did Nick love this book?

We often think about the Civil War in terms of battles, casualties, and fatalities, which isn’t surprising as war is always considered a bloody business sprinkled with death and destruction. However, many historians overlook that it wasn’t just bullets that won the war. Technological innovations changed the battlefield. For example, Samuel M. Pook teamed up with John Eads to design a new style of armored battleship—dubbed Pook’s Turtles. Just weeks after the gunboats were commissioned, they enabled Ulysses S. Grant and Admiral Andrew Hull Foote to take Forts Henry and Donelson. Later, the fleet assisted John Pope in taking Island 10 and again in the Vicksburg campaign.

Christopher Spencer developed a repeating rifle that fired seven balls in quick succession. Abraham Lincoln’s first test determined the gun was a dud. However, the second test went off without a hitch, and the war department ordered 2,000 Spencer Rifles. Many other…

By Jeffry D. Wert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before the Civil War, America had undergone a technological revolution that made large-scale industry possible, yet, except for the expanding reach of railroads and telegraph lines, the country remained largely rural, with only pockets of small manufacturing. Then the war came and woke the sleeping giant. The Civil War created a wave of unprecedented industrial growth and development, producing a revolution in new structures, ideas, and inventions that sustained the struggle and reshaped America.

Energized by the country's dormant potential and wealth of natural resources, individuals of vision, organizational talent, and capital took advantage of the opportunity war provided. Their…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Ulysses S. Grant, military officers, and the American Civil War?

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