The community is invited for a special presentation by bestselling author Ron White at 4 p.m. on March 26 at La Cañada Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. White’s new presidential biography, “American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant,” became an instant New York Times bestseller when it was published on Oct. 4, 2016. In a national book tour, he has spoken about his new biography in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Grand Rapids, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale, including two events with General David Petraeus in New York and Los Angeles. The Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse will provide copies to purchase of “American Ulysses,” as well as “A. Lincoln: A Biography of Abraham Lincoln,” which Ron will sign.
In his time, Ulysses S. Grant was routinely grouped with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the “Trinity of Great American Leaders.” But the battlefield commander–turned–commander-in-chief fell out of favor in the 20th century. In “American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant,” White argues that we need to once more revise our estimates of him in the 21st century.
Based on seven years of research with primary documents – some of them never examined by previous Grant scholars – this is destined to become the Grant biography of our time. White, a biographer exceptionally skilled at writing momentous history from the inside out, shows Grant to be a generous, curious, introspective man and leader – a willing delegator with a natural gift for managing the rampaging egos of his fellow officers. His wife, Julia Dent Grant, long marginalized in the historic record, emerges in her own right as a spirited and influential partner.
Grant was not only a brilliant general but also a passionate defender of equal rights in post-Civil War America. After winning election to the White House in 1868, he used the power of the federal government to battle the Ku Klux Klan. He was the first president to state that the government’s policy toward American Indians was immoral, and the first ex-president to embark on a world tour, and he cemented his reputation for courage by racing against death to complete his “Personal Memoirs.” Published by Mark Twain, it is widely considered to be the greatest autobiography by an American leader, but its place in Grant’s life story has never been fully explored –until now.
One of those rare books that successfully recast our impression of an iconic historical figure, “American Ulysses” gives readers a finely honed, three-dimensional portrait of Grant the man – husband, father, leader, writer – that should set the standard by which all future biographies of him will be measured.
White is the author of three bestselling books on Abraham Lincoln, including most recently “A. Lincoln.” White earned his Ph.D. at Princeton and has lectured on Lincoln at hundreds of universities and other organizations, and at Gettysburg and the White House. He is a fellow at the Huntington Library and a senior fellow of the Trinity Forum of Washington, D.C. He lives with his wife, Cynthia, in La Cañada.
La Cañada Presbyterian Church is located at 626 Foothill Blvd.