President U.S. Grant, 1873, photography by C.M. Bell (Library of Congress)
As controversial in politics as he was in the military, President Ulysses S. Grant was enormously popular yet the target of unrelenting censure by political enemies as he dealt with many complex issues. An expert in 19th-century American history and politics, Charles W. Calhoun, Thomas Harriot College Distinguished Professor at East Carolina University, offers a fresh look at Grant’s presidency (1869-1877) not as an incongruous or inconsequential sequel to his military career but instead as the polestar of American public life during a crucial decade.
He discusses Grant’s endeavors in a variety of areas, including Reconstruction and civil rights, economic policy, the Peace Policy for Native Americans, foreign affairs, and civil service reform. He examines Grant’s leadership style and his contributions to the office of president such as creating a White House staff and cultivating allies in Congress to influence legislation. What emerges is a re-evaluation of Grant and how, as president, he navigated another treacherous battleground.
Calhoun’s book The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant (University Press of Kansas) is available for purchase and signing.