Fox News anchor Baier (Three Days at the Brink) paints a flattering portrait of Ulysses S. Grant in this breezy revisionist history. Drawing analogies to today’s partisan discord, Baier focuses on “Grant’s resolve and heroism in times of unparalleled turmoil,” including his command of the Union Army during the Civil War; his two-term presidency (1868–1876), which encompassed the most hard-fought years of Reconstruction; and his controversial brokering of a “grand bargain” in the contested 1876 election between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden. Baier claims that “we are so accustomed to dwelling on the failures of Reconstruction that we often overlook its successes,” including the 15th Amendment, which Grant helped push through in 1870, the election of the first Black U.S. senators, and the passage of the Enforcement Act, which Grant argued was necessary to curb racist violence in the South. Baier also refutes critics who fault Grant for supporting the withdrawal of federal troops from the South by claiming that Democrats and Republicans “were ready to give the Southern states a chance to do the right thing on their own,” and that “it’s unclear what more could have been done... short of permanent military occupation.” Though many readers will disagree with that assessment, Baier succeeds in humanizing Grant and clarifying the complex factors behind his decision-making. This is an accessible and nuanced introduction to an oft-misunderstood figure American history. (Oct.)
"Bret Baier's To Rescue the Republic is narrative history at its absolute finest. With great verve and a fair-and-balanced ethic, Baier brilliantly recounts the heroic life of Ulysses S. Grant - as Civil War general, U.S. President, Reconstruction Era leader and beloved national icon. His dramatic retelling of the election of 1876 which pitted Samuel J. Tilden against Rutherford B. Hayes is stupendous. A fast-paced, thrilling and enormously important book. Highly recommended!"
Until recently, historians have tended to focus on the rampant corruption that took place during the administration of Ulysses S. Grant. … Baier (Three Days at the Brink, 2020) surveys Grant’s life from his Midwestern origins through his undistinguished West Point education, his military successes leading Union forces, and his 1868 elevation to the Presidency. … Baier finds parallels to contemporary politics in this, which makes his account all the more compelling.
Bret Baier has provided a valuable public service by showing why Ulysses S. Grant deserves much more public acclaim for his presidential years than Grant has traditionally been given. If you enjoy reading about American history, you will love Bret Baier’s fresh look at the man most responsible for the outcome of the Civil War and the peaceful resolution of the contested presidential election of 1876. I highly recommend this book on one of America’s most important leaders.
Bret Baier once again brings his wonderful journalistic storytelling skills to the task of examining a significant moment in American history. To Rescue the Republic is the richly detailed and often suspenseful story of Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th president. In particular Bret focuses on those dramatic moments when Grant rescues the Republic—first during the Civil War, then making the peace after the war, and finally in the bitterly contested election of 1876, when he devised a grand bargain to save the presidency and the nation. The parallels with modern times are striking, and the lessons Bret raises are worth serious attention: the future of the Republic isn’t a given. We must fight for it in every era.
Riveting. With characteristic intellectual verve and brilliant analysis, Bret Baier allows readers to freshly understand how the Tehran Conference shaped world history. Essential reading by a first-rate storyteller!
In his monumental new book about one of history’s most epic events, Bret Baier has outdone himself yet again. I could not put this extraordinary book down. Three Days at the Brink is a masterpiece: elegantly written, brilliantly conceived, and impeccably researched. This book not only sparkles but is destined to be a classic!
In the past three years, Bret Baier, perhaps America’s top newscaster, has become one of America’s best historians as well. Three Days at the Brink is a fascinating narrative that doubles as a political portrait of FDR and a history of the momentous Tehran conference. Must reading.
"As the United States suffers through turbulent times, news anchor Bret Baier reaches back to earlier years of heroism when the nation, then and now, experienced an earlier examples of woe. This is a book which, when carefully read, provides insight into a difficult era."
A brilliant character study of a great American. In To Rescue the Republic, Bret Baier brings Ulysses S. Grant—war hero, president, and author—to life in a vivid, gripping style that speaks to the issues of our time."
Riveting. With characteristic intellectual verve and brilliant analysis, Bret Baier allows readers to freshly understand how the Tehran Conference shaped world history. Essential reading by a first-rate storyteller!”
The latest book of pop history from the chief political anchor for Fox News.
The Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which Baier witnessed in his capacity as a political reporter and anchor, gave new meaning to the turmoil surrounding the 1876 presidential election. In this conventional biography of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) designed for general readers who have not studied the era, the election occupies only 50 pages near the end. A mediocre West Point cadet, Grant achieved little glory in the Mexican-American War, resigned his commission, and struggled to earn a living. The beginning of the Civil War found him clerking in a leather goods shop and farming. The only West Point graduate in the area, he was chosen to lead local units; after six months of intense activity against minor Confederate posts and lobbying by his congressman, a friend of Lincoln, Grant became a general. He turned out to be the most aggressive and imaginative Union commander. A national idol after Appomattox in 1865, he easily won presidential elections in 1868 and 1872. Recent historians have upgraded his performance in office, but Baier holds the traditional view that Grant was an honorable man but a poor politician surrounded by scoundrels. Scandals occurred regularly, and his final months in office were preoccupied by the mess following the 1876 election, which saw a closely contested battle that the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, barely won. As in his previous books on FDR, Eisenhower, and Reagan, Baier relies heavily on other biographies, including Ron Chernow’s superior Grant (2017), and Grant’s own memoirs, a straightforward and plainspoken history. Throughout, the author can’t resist the use of invented dialogue and conjectures of historical figures’ inner thoughts, but he gets the facts right.
Better Grant biographies are not in short supply; readers should seek them out instead of this one.
Throughout history, great men have stepped forward at just the right moment to save America at its most critical times. In To Rescue the Republic, Bret Baier brilliantly chronicles how Ulysses S. Grant was that great man multiple times. Perhaps you think you know the story, but Bret brings you back to the 1870s in a way I didn’t think possible. A must read!”
Yes, history can help light the way. Bret Baier’s absorbing book shows us why Ulysses Grant was a far more important President than later generations gave him credit for, and how the crises of civil war, Reconstruction and the deadlock of 1876 resembled the turbulent period we are living through.
"In To Rescue the Republic, Bret Baier combines the journalist's instinct for timeliness and a great story with the historian's ability to document and chronicle in ways that stand the test of time. To Rescue the Republic doubles as a political and military portrait of U.S. Grant and as a definitive account of Grant's ability to broker a settlement of the contentious election of 1876. This success marked the culmination of Grant's efforts as general and president to win and end the American civil war. A key message of this book-- in this time of discord and racial conflict-- is that the American republic is a land of opportunity. Talent rises to the top. And because of this, no problem confronting Americans is ultimately is beyond resolution. This book is as inspiring as it is readable, and it is easily my favorite book of 2021."
With To Rescue The Republic, Bret Baier, the nation’s leading reporter of history, has written a veritable tour de force. This remarkable book is history as it should be: magnificently composed, meticulously researched, and brimming with lessons for today's divided political arena. Baier has brought to life the riveting but too often forgotten story of how US Grant preserved the Republic at one of its moments of greatest peril. This is not just a tale for our age, but an absorbing tale for the ages. It belongs on the bookshelf of every lover of history.