Grant by Ron Chernow


Chapter 5

  • I relate to his struggle before the war, a “little man with a mysterious aura of solitude” and “never heard him laugh aloud”, “I don’t think he had any ambition other than to educate and take care of his family”...but he underwent a political awakening

Chapter 6

  • (near end) how Grant only wanted to be judged based on his merit, hated politics and jockeying, and wasn’t like Napoleon in his grand ambition...this is how I feel in the business world

Chapter 9

  • (little before middle) “he was a superior version of the ordinary American, and the public loved it”
  • (end) Grant’s naiveté about bureaucratic machinations above him...feel at times in a similar position that I don’t know who to trust

Chapter 12

  • (little before end) the description of how Grant was all business and laid down in the grass to sleep just like his men, and how they knew about it and were inspired: “he could stand any hardship they could and do his thinking beside”...“Glad to know inaction had ended and vigorous work begun”

Chapter 14

  • First, how magnanimously Grant accepted the surrender at Vicksburg
  • Also, an emerging theme of how Grant’s success was magnified by his close political alignment with Lincoln in enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation (“Vicksburg would not have been possible without the Emancipation Proclamation" quoted by Lincoln at a rally) and employing former slaves, first as workers and then as troops. This ingratiated him with Lincoln and strengthened his position. Perhaps an analogy of how you should understand the political desires of your boss

Chapter 15

  • How Grant didn’t grasp for power, but let power come to him
  • Letter from Sherman after Grant promoted to Lt. Gen. reminding him to stay simple and honest

Chapter 16

  • (middle) Grant's interpersonal skills were key to building the command structure and winning the war, example of how he handled Mead and retained him for the army of the Potomac.

Chapter 17

  • Beginning - Grant's continual adoption of new technology, example here is using telegram to command more than half a million men; previous example is use of iron clads on western front
  • Also Grant was “first among equals”, noted after the discussion of his review of troops

Chapter 28

  • while running for President he thought people should recognize your worth rather than self promoting