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Book review: Flood wins big with 'Grant's Final Victory'

"GRANT'S FINAL VICTORY," by Charles Bracelen Flood, Da Capo Press, $27.50, 320 pages (nf)

Award-winning and New York Times best-selling author Charles Bracelen Flood beautifully details the sobering last year of Civil War hero and President Ulysses S. Grant in his latest work, "Grant’s Final Victory: Ulysses S. Grant’s Heroic Last Year."

Grant, after his presidency, moved to Manhattan where he went into business as an investment broker only to be swindled out of his fortune and the fortunes of those who invested in the company by an unscrupulous business partner.

Grant, now destitute, was faced with the task of trying to provide for his family. Making matters worse, Grant, notorious for being a cigar smoker, a short time afterward was diagnosed with throat cancer.

He was always reluctant to write about his Civil War experiences, but Grant saw this as an opportunity to gain back some of what was lost. He struck a deal with Century Magazine to write four articles about the Civil War. The articles penned by the “Hero of Appotomax” were an instant success and he was later asked to write a book. Grant accepted the offer and began his work on "Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant."

Grant embraced the project and spent many of his last days in his office working tirelessly on "Memoirs." When Grant became too weak to write on his own, he dictated the words to the men who sometimes served as scribes, completing the work only four days before he died. "Memoirs" was published after his death.

Flood not only describes the writing process but shares the remarkable regard of the American people for the man who was better known for his military genius than for the success of his administration.

Flood accurately captures the spirit of a man determined to put forth his best effort while staring death squarely in the face.

Fans of historical non-fiction will appreciate Flood’s superb style and will find "Grant’s Final Victory" to be a compelling read.

Jarrod M. Hiatt lives in Utah. He graduated from Weber State University with a degree in journalism. His email is