Q&A with Ronald White

Here’s an interview C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb did with Ronald C. White, author of the latest biography of Ulysses S. Grant. White says he’s the first biographer to use all the volumes of the Grant Papers. Well, that’s fine, but what does he have to say that’s different from other biographers, and how did those volumes inform his work? It’s not clear to me from listening to this that he really understands the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Grant.

The video’s description reads, “Ronald White, a historian and Huntington Library fellow, talked about his book, American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant. He began the interview by reading his opening passage that describes President Grant’s arrival in Washington, D.C., in 1964 to meet President Abraham Lincoln for the first time. He also discussed the Army commanding general’s early life and career at West Point, his marriage to Julia Dent Grant and their children, and his presidency. Mr. White also spoke about the role of his own theological background on writing biographies, his life and background, and his travels in researching President Grant for this book.”




  1. bob carey · · Reply

    Interesting segment. I liked the conversation about the religious beliefs of both Lincoln and Grant, I believe that the professor/minister is right in that these beliefs are not in mainstream in the study of both men. The fact that both men had strong beliefs takes the wind out of the sails of some of the more outlandish “Lost Cause ” arguments, such as the latest post on Crossroads.

  2. Mike Rogers · · Reply

    Al – I listened to this a few days back. Thought Mr White was interesting, but like you, not sure what new he has to offer about Grant. Hoping my local library will have it at some point — save the cash other things

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