In the ratings game of U.S. presidents, Ulysses S. Grant, who was inaugurated as the 18th president 150 years ago, usually ends up in the bottom tier. C-SPAN’s presidential poll in 2000 placed Grant at 33rd — mercifully ahead of Andrew Johnson (at 40), but only one notch ahead of Herbert Hoover (34) and lagging well behind James Knox Polk (12). An American Political Science Association survey last year promoted him to 21st. But that still lodges Grant behind James Monroe, William McKinley, and the Mexican War–mongering Polk.
And this despite the fact that Grant was the Union general who …
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