Synopsis by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
Following the Civil War, Grant considered returning to civilian life. Racial violence in the South, however, along with President Andrew Johnson's ineffectual leadership, led the ex-soldier into politics. Beginning in March 1869, Grant would serve two presidential terms. Although he attempted to focus his administration on Reconstruction, Westward expansion, a Depression in the 1870s, and corruption within his own administration sidetracked his plans. When Grant left the White House in March 1877, it was under a cloud of suspicion. In May of the same year, he and his wife left for England, beginning a two-and-a-half-year trip that would take them around the world. Grant entered business with his son and investor Ferdinand Ward upon his return. Although a great deal of money was earned in the beginning of their venture, Ward's unsavory dealings, of which the Grants knew nothing, led to bankruptcy. After Grant discovered he was ill with throat cancer, he decided to write his memoirs as a way of providing for his family once he was gone. While director Adriana Bosch doesn't shy away from Grant's faults, she does offer a positive portrayal of his presidency. Ulysses S. Grant also includes interviews with historians and biographers.
President, reconstruction, military, racial-tension, scandal, bankruptcy