Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: The ultimate Civil War bromance.
Quick synopsis: A look at the friendship between Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman and how it shaped the Civil War.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: One of the best quotes of all time: “Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.”
Fun Fact for History Nerds: Grant gives Sherman all the credit for the March to the Sea, but this book shows just how much Sherman needed Grant. Most generals would never give the latitude (and spotlight) to a lower rank, but Grant never worried about credit. In fact, he often shirked it as much as possible.
My Take: Most people don’t realize that Grant and Sherman were not just the architects of the end of the Civil War. They were also colossal failures before becoming the leaders the Union needed to win the war.
Flood’s book is a great analysis of their triumphs and failures throughout their lives. When Grant and Sherman finally come together, you get the sense these men were made to fight alongside each other. Grant had to be the tenacious leaders who didn’t care about credit and let his successful subordinates shine. Sherman, in his own words, confirmed he could not operate without Grant who gave him the confidence and room to make decisions.
Flood wrote a fantastic book which gives each general the spotlight without overburdening the reader. His military acumen shows through as he also knows how to explain a battle without getting too deep in the weeds.
Verdict: Great book even if you know nothing about the Civil War.
If You Liked This Try:
- Jamie Malanowski, Commander Will Cushing
- Tony Horwitz, Midnight Rising
- Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals
- Timothy Egan, The Immortal Irishman