Grant's critics were "determined the Civil War would be interpreted from the point of view of the Confederacy," said John F. Marszalek, a historian and executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. "The idea that Grant would do things that would ensure citizenship rights for blacks was just awful and so he had to be knocked down."Between 2000 and 2009 Grant jumped 10 places in C-SPAN's ranking of U.S. presidents, which is based on a survey of historians; he now sits at 23rd.
Grant's "presidency was basically seen as corrupt, and it took place during Reconstruction, which was seen as basically the lowest point of American history," said Eric Foner, a civil war historian at Columbia University. "Whatever Grant did to protect former slaves was naïveté or worse." . . .
"We now view Reconstruction ... as something that should have succeeded in securing equality for African-Americans, and we see Grant as supportive of that effort and doing as much as any person could do to try to secure that within realm of political reality," said Brooks Simpson, a historian at Arizona State University. "We see him as on the right side of history."
Thursday, July 23, 2015
More on the Resurgence of U.S. Grant
Huffington Post has a little feature on the rising reputation of U.S. Grant as both a general and a president. A new generation of historians blames his bad reputation squarely on southern racists: