Just the Right Book! Podcast, hosted by Roxanne Coady of Connecticut’s acclaimed, award-winning, independent bookseller R.J. Julia, is now available on BookTrib.com, the premier website where readers meet writers. The podcast and BookTrib are both dedicated to helping readers find their next favorite read and this pairing will open up a world of great possibilities.
In this week’s episode of Just the Right Book! podcast, Roxanne Coady joins author Ron Chernow to talk about his latest expository biography on Ulysses S. Grant. Just who is Ron Chernow? He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, historian, and journalist who wrote the biography that became the inspiration behind the record-breaking, hip-hop Broadway musical Hamilton.
In Chernow’s newest novel Grant, he paints the former president as a flawed man, yet a great general and president. One of the elements that Chernow pinpoints is that, after getting thrown out of the army for drinking on payday, Grant must beg his father for a menial job selling leather goods while working below his two younger brothers. However, once the Civil War begins, Grant is called to duty and eventually gets vaulted to the top commander of the Union Army due to his merits.
Chernow speaks on Grant’s military memoirs throughout the novel, giving us a look into the history behind the man who left an impact on our world today. “My job as a biographer is to probe the ‘silences,’ what the subject doesn’t want to talk about,” Chernow speaks on behalf of Grant’s memoirs in which “there is not a single syllable about his drinking problem or his terrible poverty.” Thus, this biography does a wonderful job shedding light on the missing pieces in-between.
After the interview, Roxanne shares what is currently on her nightstand.
Grant by Ron Chernow
Abraham Lincoln: A Biography by Lord Charnwood
Abraham Lincoln by Carl Sandburg
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward