What Petraeus Meant: Did "Book Beast" Get it Wrong?

I watched David Gregory’s interview with General David Petraeus on Meet the Press yesterday. Gregory wrapped up the interview by asking the general what he was reading. Petraeus didn’t in fact give the titles of the books he referred to in his answer — he was, after all, there to plug U.S. Afghanistan policy rather than his own reading choices. He said he was reading a book “on the historiography of Grant,” on “how historians have changed their view of Grant” over the years. He also mentioned a book on Kipling in India.

The Daily Beast’s “Book Beast column reported the exchange with a piece identifying the two books, but it seems more than likely to me that the Beast got the Grant book wrong. Book Beast cites Jean Edward Smith’s biography, Grant, published almost ten years ago. But Petraeus did not say he was reading a biography of the Civil War general who became president.

197808078331791 206x300 What Petraeus Meant: Did "Book Beast" Get it Wrong?

The book that seems clearly to fit his definition is Joan Waugh’s U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth, published last November by the University of North Carolina Press. LJ reviewed the book last September, along with two others that were reassessing presidencies (click here to see). This one is indeed a “historiography” of Grant!

Share
Margaret Heilbrun About Margaret Heilbrun

Margaret Heilbrun is a former Senior Editor, Library Journal Book Review.

Comments

  1. I most certenly like this innovative angle that you have on the subject. Certainly wasn’t planning on this at the time I started searching for tips. Your ideas was totally simple to get. Happy to find that there’s an person online that obviously understands on the spot what its is talking about.

  2. Dwayne Buch says:

    Amazing! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  3. Isaiah Baig says:

    I do not know if others also have such an impression but this article is great.

Featuring YD Feedwordpress Content Filter Plugin