Winter Speaker Event - "The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant: Preserving the Civil War's Legacy"
This is a joint event with the Long Branch Historical Association
Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 7:15 pm
Township of Ocean Board of Education (Old Oakhurst School), Auditorium,
163 Monmouth Road, Oakhurst, NJ 07755
A new take on the Grant presidency, 7:15, Wednesday, April 17
Next up in the Speaker Series: Assessing Grant’s Presidency
At 7:15, Wednesday, April 17, in the auditorium of the School Board Offices, 163 Monmouth Road, Dr. Paul Kahan, a leading expert on 19th century American history, shares insights from his latest book, The Presidency of Ulysses S Grant: Preserving the Civil War’s Legacy.
Historians have long portrayed Grant as a flawed, if not failed, President. His two terms were are notorious for their corruption and scandal. Grant himself admitted in his final address to Congress, ”Mistakes have been made... But they were failures of judgment, not of intent.”
Kahan argues that Grant’s Presidency needs to be understood in the context of the challenges he faced. The Civil War unleased unique political, economic, and cultural forces. Grant racked up a series of significant achievements in the face of some daunting circumstances—including a major economic depression and tumultuous politics of Reconstruction. He defeated efforts to annex Cuba. He avoided war with Spain and laid the foundation for the country’s special relationship with England.
Dr. Kahan asks us to put the scandals in perspective, avoid the comparison to Grant’s brilliant military career, and consider that Grant’s Presidency was both more progressive and more accomplished than history has recognized.
Dr. Kahan earned his Ph.D. in U.S. history from Temple University, an M.A. in Modern American History and Literature from Drew, and a B.A. in history and English from Alfred University. His other works include books on the American penal system, labor strikes, and violence, and Andrew Jackson. Members of the Long Branch Historical Association are specially invited guests at the April 17 talk. Their work has included identifying and marking various locations associated with Grant’s long-time connection to their city. Dr. Kahan’s talk is a perfect opportunity to celebrate our area’s ties to the 18th president.
The speaker event is open to the public, free of charge. Donations are appreciated. Refreshments are served. (We collect and welcome non-perishable items for the Fulfill food bank.)