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Ulysses S. Grant: A study in personality and leadership
Del Nagro, Peter Robert
Blum, Edward J.
Weeks, WilliamConte, Jeff
In a recent biography, American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant, historian Ronald C. White claims that Grant is an introvert but then he does not develop this insight very much. This paper examines that thread of Grant’s introversion and then weaves it into a larger narrative about Grant’s personality and leadership. It argues that Grant’s success in life was due mostly to his personality. Chapter one examines the external factors in the development of Grant’s personality before turning to certain of its internal dimensions. Most of this chapter deals with Grant’s military career. Chapter two concentrates on Grant’s political career. It argues that there was in Grant, as president, a congruence of need, skills, and beliefs. Grant had a lifelong need to redeem a reputation clouded by allegations of drinking. His introversion helped him develop certain leadership skills. And as president, he acted out of particular beliefs in promoting the equality and dignity of all Americans. Chapter three then examines three case studies from Grant’s two terms as president: the Gold Crisis, the Ku Klux Klan, and the political corruption in his administration. It explains how Grant used his need, skills, and beliefs to resolve each of these challenges. He handled the Ku Klux Klan crisis particularly well and so, this thesis argues, Grant deserves more recognition for a successful presidency than he has usually received from historians.
Arts and Letters
San Diego State University
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2019
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