The #1 bestselling author and Fox News Channel’s Chief Political Anchor illuminates the heroic life of Ulysses S. Grant
"To Rescue the Republic is narrative history at its absolute finest. A fast-paced, thrilling and enormously important book." —Douglas Brinkley
An epic history spanning the battlegrounds of the Civil War and the violent turmoil of Reconstruction to the forgotten electoral crisis that nearly fractured a reunited nation, Bret Baier’s To Rescue the Republic dramatically reveals Ulysses S. Grant’s essential yet underappreciated role in preserving the United States during an unprecedented period of division.
Born a tanner’s son in rugged Ohio in 1822 and battle-tested by the Mexican American War, Grant met his destiny on the bloody fields of the Civil War. His daring and resolve as a general gained the attention of President Lincoln, then desperate for bold leadership. Lincoln appointed Grant as Lieutenant General of the Union Army in March 1864. Within a year, Grant’s forces had seized Richmond and forced Robert E. Lee to surrender.
Four years later, the reunified nation faced another leadership void after Lincoln’s assassination and an unworthy successor completed his term. Again, Grant answered the call. At stake once more was the future of the Union, for though the Southern states had been defeated, it remained to be seen if the former Confederacy could be reintegrated into the country—and if the Union could ensure the rights and welfare of African Americans in the South. Grant met the challenge by boldly advancing an agenda of Reconstruction and aggressively countering the Ku Klux Klan.
In his final weeks in the White House, however, Grant faced a crisis that threatened to undo his life’s work. The contested presidential election of 1876 produced no clear victory for either Republican Rutherford B. Hayes or Democrat Samuel Tilden, who carried most of the former Confederacy. Soon Southern states vowed to revolt if Tilden was not declared the victor. Grant was determined to use his influence to preserve the Union, establishing an electoral commission to peaceably settle the issue. Grant brokered a grand bargain: the installation of Republican Hayes to the presidency, with concessions to the Democrats that effectively ended Reconstruction. This painful compromise saved the nation, but tragically condemned the South to another century of civil-rights oppression.
Deep with contemporary resonance and brimming with fresh detail that takes readers from the battlefields of the Civil War to the corridors of power where men decided the fate of the nation in back rooms, To Rescue the Republic reveals Grant, for all his complexity, to be among the first rank of American heroes.
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About the Author
Bret Baier is the chief political anchor for Fox News Channel and the anchor and executive editor of Special Report with Bret Baier. He previously served as Chief White House Correspondent for Fox News Channel and as the network’s National Security Correspondent based at the Pentagon, reporting on military and national security affairs. A recipient of the National Press Foundation’s Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, Baier is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Three Days at the Brink: FDR’s Daring Gamble to Win WWII; Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire; Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission; and Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love. He lives with his family in Washington, DC.
Catherine Whitney has written or collaborated on more than twenty-five books, including Framing a Life: A Family Memoir with Geraldine Ferraro and Guilty: The Collapse of Criminal Justice with the late Judge Harold J. Rothwax.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Ulysses Grant in Living History xi
Prologue: A Dark Night in Philadelphia 1
Part 1 Seasoned by Struggle
Chapter 1 The Making of Grant 9
Chapter 2 Conflicted Warrior 28
Chapter 3 The Lost Years 45
Part 2 The Making of a General
Chapter 4 The Union Cause 71
Chapter 5 Lincoln's General 112
Chapter 6 Surrender 134
Part 3 The Political Journey
Chapter 7 Chaos 159
Chapter 8 The Outlier President 186
Chapter 9 The Battleground of Reconstruction 210
Part 4 A Grand Bargain
Chapter 10 The Bitter Divide 241
Chapter 11 An Election in Doubt 267
Chapter 12 The Presidency Saved 279
Part 5 The Final Battle
Chapter 13 The Search for Purpose 299
Chapter 14 Grant's Own Story 311
Chapter 15 The Meaning of Grant's Life … Then and Now 326