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Summary

A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian's acclaimed Civil War history of the complex man and controversial Union commander whose battlefield brilliance ensured the downfall of the Confederacy.

Preeminent Civil War historian Bruce Catton narrows his focus on commander Ulysses S. Grant, whose bold tactics and relentless dedication to the Union ultimately ensured a Northern victory in the nation's bloodiest conflict.

While a succession of Union generals - from McClellan to Burnside to Hooker to Meade - were losing battles and sacrificing troops due to ego, egregious errors, and incompetence, an unassuming Federal Army commander was excelling in the Western theater of operations. Though unskilled in military power politics and disregarded by his peers, Colonel Grant, commander of the Twenty-First Illinois Volunteer Infantry, was proving to be an unstoppable force. He won victory after victory at Belmont, Fort Henry, and Fort Donelson, while brilliantly avoiding near-catastrophe and ultimately triumphing at Shiloh. And Grant's bold maneuvers at Vicksburg would cost the Confederacy its invaluable lifeline: the Mississippi River. But destiny and President Lincoln had even loftier plans for Grant, placing nothing less than the future of an entire nation in the capable hands of the North's most valuable military leader.

Based in large part on military communiqués, personal eyewitness accounts, and Grant's own writings, Catton's extraordinary history offers listeners an insightful look at arguably the most innovative Civil War battlefield strategist, unmatched by even the South's legendary Robert E. Lee.

©1960 Little, Brown and Company, Inc. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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A DISAPPOINTING CONCLUSION TO THE GRANT TRILOGY

Prior to purchasing this third volume of the Grant trilogy, I had listened to and greatly enjoyed Kevin T. Collins's reading of volume 2, "Grant Takes to Command". "Grant Moves South" proved a grave disappointment from the very first minute, when I realised that the reader had been replaced; worse yet, the new reader seemed to me totally unsuitable to this particular task, with an affected voice which adopted a lethally slow pace, which seemed to include a break of a fraction of a second after every word. Perhaps I was unduly influenced by this fact, but I was also disappointed in Catton's text; compared to the excellent tactical, strategic and political narrative of volume 2, the author now seemed to spend far too much time on the minutiae of Grant's family life, right down to repeated passages on the general's determination to secure adequate schooling for his children. All in all, I regret to report that I gave up entirely about a third of the way through.

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  • Roberta Rothwell
  • 11-01-18

Riveting history with a great narration

Where does Grant Moves South rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Excellent. The details of Grant's move down the Mississippi and the battles in Tennessee and Mississippi gives you insight into Grant's methodology and his ability to see strategy like no one else in the Civil War. Also Grant's tenaciousness in seeing that the war would only be won by destroying armies was essential to the success of the war.

What did you like best about this story?

The details of the weather, land and engineering difficulties endured and overcome by Grant's strategy and his ability to think outside the box. Gives you a different perspective about what the Union soldiers endured during this campaign. Bronson Pinchot does a fabulous job narrating this history. He emphasizes where necessary but lets the words speak for themselves. His performance lures you into the campaign and helps you to understand more fully the complexities of this western struggle for the Mississippi Valley. His narration is understated. He understands that the narrator is telling the story not acting it out.

Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

Grant of course. His emergence from obscurity to great general is the core of the story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The moment when William Tecumseh Sherman convinced Grant not to resign his commission. Sherman did the country a great service.

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  • tonja koob
  • 04-08-16

Terrible narrator for a great book

great book, terrible narrator. the list of mispronounced words is too long to include here. Where was the editor, director, or someone who should have addressed this distracting problem? Narrator: spend less time on trying to add fake emotion to the narrative and more time with a pronunciation guide.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-12-21

Bruce Catton is amazing

His storytelling is fantastic. I believe that he is the best civil war historian. I can’t wait to start the third book in this series on US Grant

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  • Stephen
  • 22-08-20

Good

Easy to follow, well narrated, recommended to anyone who loves history. Read over a long period of time but never had any trouble jumping back into the book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-20

A Fair and Just History

Catton eloquently details Grant’s trials and successes during his rise from his time in Illinois and Cairo, to Memphis, and eventually to Grant’s heroics at Vicksburg. All the while Catton provides compelling insight as to the ways Grant himself was evolving. Grant Moves South is a superb history.
-MSB

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  • TheMacJew
  • 14-06-18

Phenomenal Biography

A follow up to Lloyd Lewis's Captain Sam Grant, Bruce Catton focuses on Ulysses Grant during the first two years of the American Civil War--from his becoming a Colonel of Volunteers all the way to the fall of Vicksburg. In that time, Grant is consistently underestimated by his superiors.

Unlike Chernow's gradle-to-the-grave biography, this books does spend too much time on Grant's drinking. Yes, it is established that Grant left the Army in disgrace because of his love of liquor, and Catton quickly dispels such stories as rumor. Whether they were or not is irrelevant, as Catton is more focused on the War. He doesn't get much into the politics of the era, except where necessary, but that is neither a benefit, nor a hindrance, to the work.

All-in-all, this is a book well worth the time.

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  • JLayland
  • 22-05-18

catton at his best

This is a great story, very well read!! more Catton. please! More Civil War please!

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  • Odensvalkyrie
  • 02-08-16

Great book, horrible narration.

A great book almost ruined by the narrator. The narrator doesn't seem to understand that in English, questions end on an up inflection, not statements. He also pauses where no comma exists and than runs sentences together. This make it hard to follow what the writer is saying. His constant ending of sentence with up inflection, jumbling of sentences and mispronunciation of names made listening a chore. Too bad because this is a great, well written book. I still recommend this book, just be prepared.

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  • Sally Bertoli
  • 12-09-22

One of the best

Well read and written. Lots of details and excellent interpretation that puts it all together. Held my interest.

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  • E. Clinton
  • 25-08-22

Bruce Catton's Classic Account of Grant

This is a classic book on Ulysses Grant. Bruce Catton was one of the first historians to truly understand the significance of Ulysses Grant in the Civil War. This book covers his return to the Army through the victory at the Battle of Vicksburg. Grant was a far better general than he gets credit for. Catton was one of the very first historians to realize the significance of Grant and his accomplishments. The narrative is straightforward and the performance is low-key but excellent. Grant was a low-key person and the performance matches his style. This is a classic book on the Civil War and it remains timely 50 years after it was written. Bruce Catton, who had no Ph.D. or academic appointment was one of the very best historians of the Civil War. Catton writes from the perspective of someone who believes that slavery and racism are wrong and that the Civil War was a needed step in the process of making the promise of America available to African Americans.