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The General’s Wife: The Life of Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant

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Behind every successful man there stands a woman. This maxim was never truer than with Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia. Through all the turbulence of his lengthy career, Julia stood firm to support him through all the obstacles that fortune threw in their way. Julia was certainly not passive as her husband rose through the ranks of the army and eventually became Pr Behind every successful man there stands a woman. This maxim was never truer than with Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia. Through all the turbulence of his lengthy career, Julia stood firm to support him through all the obstacles that fortune threw in their way. Julia was certainly not passive as her husband rose through the ranks of the army and eventually became President of the United States. Indeed, through the course of the Civil War, she left their children with relatives and stayed with Ulysses during campaigns in Memphis, Vicksburg, Nashville and Virginia, travelling more than ten thousand miles in four years. She performed the role of First Lady with great dignity, organizing spectacular events and hosting leaders from across the globe. Yet, as Ross highlights, the marriage was not without difficulty and sometimes contradictions, for although Ulysses was fighting for the Union and the cause of emancipation, Julia had come from a slave-owning family and this had caused a great deal of consternation in his family. Ishbel Ross’s superb biography of this remarkable woman uncovers a truly remarkable marriage and has brought the life of this fascinating First Lady back from the shadows of her husband’s career and into the public eye once more. “Ulysses and Julia Grant were a profoundly united couple, and so it is not easy to make a clear distinction between his life and hers. The two loved and needed each other. … It is very pleasant to get to know Julia Grant, who, in her devotion, was one of the more potent women in American history.” The Saturday Review “Lengthy, well-written, carefully detailed, this biography of the plain, devoted and ambitious wife of a great general and lesser president will appeal greatly … its emphasis on the life and manners of the Grant era should make it a valuable addition to the domestic history of Victorian America.” Kirkus Reviews Ishbel Ross was a prominent biographer of many of the most important women in American history. Her book The General's Wife: The Life of Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant was first published in 1959, and she passed away in 1975.


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Behind every successful man there stands a woman. This maxim was never truer than with Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia. Through all the turbulence of his lengthy career, Julia stood firm to support him through all the obstacles that fortune threw in their way. Julia was certainly not passive as her husband rose through the ranks of the army and eventually became Pr Behind every successful man there stands a woman. This maxim was never truer than with Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia. Through all the turbulence of his lengthy career, Julia stood firm to support him through all the obstacles that fortune threw in their way. Julia was certainly not passive as her husband rose through the ranks of the army and eventually became President of the United States. Indeed, through the course of the Civil War, she left their children with relatives and stayed with Ulysses during campaigns in Memphis, Vicksburg, Nashville and Virginia, travelling more than ten thousand miles in four years. She performed the role of First Lady with great dignity, organizing spectacular events and hosting leaders from across the globe. Yet, as Ross highlights, the marriage was not without difficulty and sometimes contradictions, for although Ulysses was fighting for the Union and the cause of emancipation, Julia had come from a slave-owning family and this had caused a great deal of consternation in his family. Ishbel Ross’s superb biography of this remarkable woman uncovers a truly remarkable marriage and has brought the life of this fascinating First Lady back from the shadows of her husband’s career and into the public eye once more. “Ulysses and Julia Grant were a profoundly united couple, and so it is not easy to make a clear distinction between his life and hers. The two loved and needed each other. … It is very pleasant to get to know Julia Grant, who, in her devotion, was one of the more potent women in American history.” The Saturday Review “Lengthy, well-written, carefully detailed, this biography of the plain, devoted and ambitious wife of a great general and lesser president will appeal greatly … its emphasis on the life and manners of the Grant era should make it a valuable addition to the domestic history of Victorian America.” Kirkus Reviews Ishbel Ross was a prominent biographer of many of the most important women in American history. Her book The General's Wife: The Life of Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant was first published in 1959, and she passed away in 1975.

30 review for The General’s Wife: The Life of Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant

  1. 4 out of 5

    Donna Pingry

    Well written book, well documented, about two amazing people whose love never ended. Even the sad end, as all biographies must have was uplifting and outstanding. Packed with details about so many historical figures, I found the book educational without being dull, informative but not stuffy. Grant and his wife were good people, totally devoted to each other, protective but not domineering. They raised good children in trying times who went on to raise their own children well. The one sad note w Well written book, well documented, about two amazing people whose love never ended. Even the sad end, as all biographies must have was uplifting and outstanding. Packed with details about so many historical figures, I found the book educational without being dull, informative but not stuffy. Grant and his wife were good people, totally devoted to each other, protective but not domineering. They raised good children in trying times who went on to raise their own children well. The one sad note was the media and the politicians were dirty even then, making false reports, trying to harm persons made famous by trying times. We haven't learned that journalists and politicians should be held to account for unproven and downright false reporting of the facts. News reporters shouldn't be allowed to torment the families and friends of famous people to "get a scoop". We seem to take for granted that if you are famous, a lack of privacy goes with the territory. Fortunately, the Grants were able to rise above the lies and false innuendos of the time but the biggest hurts might have been the betrayal by persons they thought were their friends, people they trusted personally and financially. Whether they had little or much, they enjoyed life and each others company. A true "for better or for worse" story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kimberli

    I read this on a recommendation of a friend. The author reiterated much of which I knew about Grant, his humility, and his failures at just about everything in his early adult years with the exception of the one job he disliked—being a soldier. The book goes in-depth about his personal and family life. I learned he loved his family and often had them at his camp during the war, and that prior to that time, his father viewed him as a failure and often let him know it. However, once “Ulys” became I read this on a recommendation of a friend. The author reiterated much of which I knew about Grant, his humility, and his failures at just about everything in his early adult years with the exception of the one job he disliked—being a soldier. The book goes in-depth about his personal and family life. I learned he loved his family and often had them at his camp during the war, and that prior to that time, his father viewed him as a failure and often let him know it. However, once “Ulys” became a general, the man couldn’t brag about his son enough. I’d always heard Grant was an alcoholic, but that may not be accurate. Several men accused him of intemperance, but those closest to him reported he rarely touched alcohol. He was cleared of the accusations on a couple occasions (so far in the book.) On the subject of journalists, he disliked them as they often twisted the truth, rarely in his favor. He suffered from migraines and had one shortly before Lee surrendered. And yes, the book talks about Julia Dent Grant as well. Though she was plain looking, as the author pointed out, Ulysses adored her as much as she adored him, regardless of their wealth, or lack thereof, or situation. She was a bright, capable woman who stood by Grant’s side, even camping with him during the war. There are some typos in the Kindle version, but that doesn't stop this from being a good read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary Barrett

    5 🌟 What a beautifully written real life love story! This book was so well researched that after I finished reading it I went back to the copywrite page to see if it was written immediately after Mrs Grant's death. Which it wasn't. The book begins briefly before the couple met and continues throughout their courtship, Ulysses S Grant's early army career. Their early marriage, children and a brief period of civilian life. From the time the couple met, until their deaths they were totally devoted t 5 🌟 What a beautifully written real life love story! This book was so well researched that after I finished reading it I went back to the copywrite page to see if it was written immediately after Mrs Grant's death. Which it wasn't. The book begins briefly before the couple met and continues throughout their courtship, Ulysses S Grant's early army career. Their early marriage, children and a brief period of civilian life. From the time the couple met, until their deaths they were totally devoted to each other and their four children. The whole history of the civil war and the time spent in the White House all lay claim to the devotion this couple shared. The book was beautifully written and a joy to read. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a piece of history.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Glenna Brown

    For a non-fiction book this one was very readable. I honestly did not no much about General Grant and nothing about Mrs. Grant, so I learned many things. It is suppose to be a book about Julia but it’s definitely about Grant too. She came from a slave owning family but wholly took to Grant’s politics. She was often at Civil War battles with her children. The connection between the Grants and Sherman’s lasted their lifetime. It is well worth reading if you like history at all. It has several erro For a non-fiction book this one was very readable. I honestly did not no much about General Grant and nothing about Mrs. Grant, so I learned many things. It is suppose to be a book about Julia but it’s definitely about Grant too. She came from a slave owning family but wholly took to Grant’s politics. She was often at Civil War battles with her children. The connection between the Grants and Sherman’s lasted their lifetime. It is well worth reading if you like history at all. It has several errors, grammatically, speaking, on the Kindle Edition, but that didn’t bother me too much.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marie Wilfong

    Very interesting story....lots of everday details, some a bit superfluous, the most unexpected part was how Julia was able to follow and stay close to her hero husband during the war(s). Their love and devotion to one another was so extra-ordinary given what we know about military life today! Grant also suffered some of the very hostile political battles that rage today...history does repeat itself! The end of the story was very touching...and apparently they are both buried in Grant's tomb! Very interesting story....lots of everday details, some a bit superfluous, the most unexpected part was how Julia was able to follow and stay close to her hero husband during the war(s). Their love and devotion to one another was so extra-ordinary given what we know about military life today! Grant also suffered some of the very hostile political battles that rage today...history does repeat itself! The end of the story was very touching...and apparently they are both buried in Grant's tomb!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eva Anile

    Surprising A surprising look into the private life of a president and his family. Some redundant details unless you're an historian. But nonetheless, still an interesting book. General Grant remained a family man, and despite his fame, kept them as his priority. Surprising A surprising look into the private life of a president and his family. Some redundant details unless you're an historian. But nonetheless, still an interesting book. General Grant remained a family man, and despite his fame, kept them as his priority.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carol Courtney

    An excellent read about an extraordinary lady. She was born into a well to do family that had slaves and went on to marry a man her father was against. Laid against the civil war background and reconstruction period, an interesting read that describes the times, fashions and emotions ruling the USA at that time. Well worth the read!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donna Agnelly

    Good in-depth book I very much enjoyed this book and the in-depth look at the relationship between Ulysses and Julia. They really did compliment each other. Dedicated to each other throughout their lives. Last two sentences in the book are a perfect statement.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pat Haley

    To love, honor and obey The Grants demonstrated absolute love, respect and devotion to each other through all the stages of their life together. A beautiful story. An amazing couple.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peggi

    I give 4 stars, because of editing With property attention to the details, this would be a 5 star review. Give it a chance to entertain and educate you about this interesting and important time in history.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kimmarie Pozar

    Fascinating read A quite readable story of the life of the president and his wife. A way to learn about both the day to day life and workings and the dress of the time as well as the political life of Grant.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Interesting Biography Thorough account of Julia Grant's remarkable life. I enjoyed learning the details of Grants' Presidency and the invaluable support Julia gave to him. They truly had a strong love for one another.I Interesting Biography Thorough account of Julia Grant's remarkable life. I enjoyed learning the details of Grants' Presidency and the invaluable support Julia gave to him. They truly had a strong love for one another.I

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The life of a man on the rise A good insight to the rise of a great man and his character as it developed. Behind him in support and trust was a understanding and enabling woman, wife and mother.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ken Reich

    A trip through time A great read about a time long past. A little too much repetitive detail about outfits that people wore but the stories about General Grant make him come back to like. The next time I go through New York city, I am going to stop and pay my respect at his toumb

  15. 5 out of 5

    Denzel L Struchen

    Well written A great biography of Mrs. Grant. This book brings behind the scenes looks at life in America when it was young. How officers an their families were treated. You really get to know the whole family and the dynamics that made them great.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    A fairly good bio of a lesser-feted first lady. She as quite important to the general's well-being, and this volume brings that out. The drinking allegations get a different treatment here. A couple of downsides: no pictures or drawings included and the Kindle edition has numerous typos. A fairly good bio of a lesser-feted first lady. She as quite important to the general's well-being, and this volume brings that out. The drinking allegations get a different treatment here. A couple of downsides: no pictures or drawings included and the Kindle edition has numerous typos.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Russell G Edwards

    A couple's life of public service A wonderful review of General Grant's family life and how he merged career with it, while winning military victories and retaining respect of all. A couple's life of public service A wonderful review of General Grant's family life and how he merged career with it, while winning military victories and retaining respect of all.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lana Sterling

    Step back in time.... What an amazing story about the Grant family? It’s hard to believe how they loved and lived through all their ups and downs. This was very interesting to say the least! You got to read it. It’s History!

  19. 4 out of 5

    geraldine v williams

    A good womsn Interesting overview of the life of what could be considered a secondary American icon. She was, in fact, a major player in her time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Horsfield

    This could have been shorter...but enjoyed reading of this loving, devoted couple. It also was a wonderful insight to the General.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary E

    Interesting and well written. I learned a lot and have even more respect for the Grants than I did before. The presentation was interesting and not dry like many history books.

  22. 5 out of 5

    William Barron

    Well written Interesting overview of Grants life viewed from his family life while following his military career. An entertaining and easy read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This is an impressive biography, filled with detail. While it is longer than I expected and often filled with references I felt were too excessive, I found it very readable!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lee Jackson Coffey

    This is a thorough,carefully done work. I enjoyed seeing a well known life from another direction. Enjoy!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Golay

    Julia Dent was quite a lady. Very interesting. If you enjoy history and biography you will enjoy this. I learned things about her I did not know.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara Avrams

    Outstanding A wonderful tribute to an inspiring woman. Julia Dent Grant was a woman that many woman can look to as an example of real humanity and courage.

  27. 5 out of 5

    K J

    Julia Grant's story is one of loyalty and great love. Like Abigail Adams, her role in the life of a man of great destiny is both fascinating and valiant. Julia Grant's story is one of loyalty and great love. Like Abigail Adams, her role in the life of a man of great destiny is both fascinating and valiant.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cws

    92G

  29. 5 out of 5

    mary garrett

  30. 4 out of 5

    Genny Floyd

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