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Victor!: The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant

In some ways, everything in our world seems out of control, but turmoil has been a part of the evolution of our nation since its founding. America has endured extremely dark periods in its history—the Revolution, World War II, and perhaps the darkest time of all, the Civil War.

But in darkness, leaders emerge to shine a light of hope to guide the people into the future. During the dark days of the American Civil War, one leader—Ulysses S. Grant—emerged to guide the nation to victory, then to the beginnings of reconciliation. As Lieutenant General, he defeated the rebellion. As Chief of the Army, he provided a stabilizing presence during the Andrew Johnson impeachment. As Presidential candidate, he spoke for every American in his slogan: “Let Us Have Peace.” But there is one story of Grant’s heroism that is rarely told.

Perhaps the most dramatic season in Grant’s life came in his final two years. After leaving the White House he lost all his money in a massive Ponzi scheme. Then only a few months later he received the devastating news that he was dying of throat cancer. Dr. Craig von Buseck uncovers the inspiring and intimate side of this historical legend while providing an in-depth look at the last two years of Grant’s life. Often glossed over in other biographies, the tale told in Victor! focuses on these events. It reveals the driving force behind the winning strategy in his final battle— the campaign to restore his family’s fortune, to ensure his wife is cared for after his death, and to write his memoirs to remind the world that the Civil War was about slavery and a new birth of freedom.

Frederick Douglass, eulogized Grant as “a man too broad for prejudice, too humane to despise the humblest, too great to be small at any point. In him the Negro found a protector, the Indian a friend, a vanquished foe a brother, an imperiled nation a savior.” Victor! gives a glimpse into the life and character of this man that evoked such a tribute from the greatest African-American mind of the 19th Century.

Victor! offers a unique narrative approach allowing readers to hear the voice of a dying General Grant as he writes his memoirs and takes readers back in time to key turning points in the War Between the States—Vicksburg, The Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and ultimately, Appomattox. As Grant is constantly jarred back to the present pain, exhaustion, and sadness as he slowly dies of cancer, readers will be inspired by his courage and tenacity to persevere in adversary to achieve victory in the struggles of their own lives.

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