After his victorious triumph over the Confederacy during the Civil War and bit past his two terms as President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant was snookered by Ferdinand Ward and James D. Fish, two financial hucksters. They had used the President’s name to garner investors’ trust in a partnership in which Ulysses Grant’s naiveté would prove devastating. Eventually, he lost his own small fortune and his reputation to financial scandal.
Soon after this devastation, the former president was fighting for his life against throat cancer, trying to finish his memoirs for a financial parachute for his wife, and a lasting legacy to a grateful nation.
The author, Charles Flood, does a masterful job of linking the dying of an era with the dying of Grant. It’s an amazing book of a prominent American’s struggle against financial ruin, sickness and scandal. And, in a bit of irony, the man who conquered the South in his life, united the Nation in his death. Grant was a very imperfect man, but one with whom it is very easy to relate. This is an excellent book.