Questions from a Reader of 'Victor!


After reading Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant, David Winters writes:


Dr. vB, Very much enjoyed Victor! Thank you for all the effort that went into it. Two questions. In pop culture, Grant has a reputation as a big drinker. If it was mentioned in the book, I missed it. Was this true or false that he had a drinking problem? Secondly, how would you sum up Grant's faith in God?


Hi David,

Thank you for your encouraging feedback on Victor! I appreciate it. Regarding your questions,

1. Yes, Grant today would be considered an alcoholic and this disease led to him being forced out of the army in 1853. It damaged his reputation and almost kept him from being reinstated when the Civil War broke out. Through the love and support of his wife, accountability to friends, strong character, and faith in God, he was finally able to abstain from alcohol and never drank as president.

2. Grant was a lifelong believer and a strong Methodist. When I visited his birthplace outside of Cincinnati on the Ohio River, there was a display there of his Huguenot ancestry as well. Grant opened his 'Personal Memoirs' by quoting the Christian theologian, Thomas Aquinas: "Man proposes, but God disposes." As president, he was asked for a quote for a Sunday School national group. He responded: "Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future."

I have two chapters that cover these questions in depth in the companion book, 'Forward! The Leadership Principles of Ulysses S. Grant, which will be released May 25th.


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