Having raved over two other Chernow books, Washington and Hamilton, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on his newest release, Grant. I received this audiobook from my local library back in October and promptly listened to this marathon read over the next couple of weeks. Alas, the return date snuck up on me and I had to fork over this long read a mere four hours short of finishing. Over the next two months I waited patiently for my number to be called again, finally receiving the Kindle version a few weeks ago. Prior to this read, I’d had an image of Grant in my head as a stumbling, corrupt, warmongering drunk. I explicitly remember one of my teachers along the way talking of his constant inebriation and the fraudulent characters that filled his cabinet. Needless to say, I went into this read with preconceived, and as a whole false, notions regarding the man I was about to learn a significant amount about. While I’ve read countless books about the Civil War, none that I can recall focused on the Western Campaign or the Reconstruction time period. In Grant, Chernow again masterfully delivered a massive quantity of information in a beautifully woven, eloquent manner that holds the reader apt throughout. As Chernow focused on Grant’s involvement in the Western Campaign, I found my curiosity piqued and would Googling this battles I’d heard about, but knew little of the actual details, e.g., Shiloh, Vicksburg. The same can be said of Reconstruction, as I found myself shocked at how little I’d ever heard this time period discussed in my history classes. As such, Grant contained a plethora of knowledge that served to deepen my understanding of this tumultuous time period. Regarding the namesake of this book, Grant was an intriguing, unlikely character who seemed to be born at the right time in history to make such a significant impact. Yes he did suffer from alcohol abuse, however from this account those episodes occurred after the conclusions of major battles or stressful events, all the while he attempted to surround himself with positive influences. Later in life, he appears to have overcome this battle with little to no account of his binges occurring while he was President or on his amazing world travels. Many wild tales of his drinking that did spring up throughout his life have had much doubt cast on them by historians due to the malicious intent of the reporter or the individual not even being in the same city as the General during the aforementioned event. With regard to the corruption that trailed Grant throughout his Presidency and after, Chernow paints a realistic portrait of Grant, new to the political realm, being overly naïve and blindly loyal. As someone who is personally unfamiliar with political wiles, I can only image making similar mistakes as Grant, if I were thrust into a place of such power with little to no experience. Overall, while some of the political bickering and navigating later in Grant’s presidency grew rather tedious, as a whole, Chernow again delivers a delightful, detail packed read that transports the reader to another poignant time within our American history.