Ulysses S. Grant Miniseries Premieres on History Channel
Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio executive produced a new miniseries about Ulysses S. Grant, the eighteenth President of the United States, that premieres on Memorial Day on the History Channel.
Based on the critically acclaimed 2017 biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow, “Grant” depicts an individual who embodied some of America’s finest ideals: hard work, determination, courage, resolve, democracy, and equality for all — no matter the color of their skin.
The miniseries had input from numerous historians, writers and servicemen, including Chernow. Directed by Malcolm Venville, it stars Justin Salinger as Ulysses S. Grant, Arthur Falko as Young Sentinel and Carel Nel as Abraham Lincoln.
According to the History Channel website, Ulysses S. Grant was “the most famous man in the world and stood alongside men like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the pantheon of American heroes. However, today Ulysses S. Grant is largely forgotten, his rightful legacy tarnished by a fog of myth, rumor and falsehood.”
Grant was born to a working-class family in Ohio in 1822. Although he would marry into a slave-holding family, he became a respected general who fought against the Confederacy during the Civil War, leading to the freedom of 4 million slaves.
After becoming president in 1869, he was renowned for spearheading Reconstruction, creating the Justice Department, and using that arm of the government to battle and prosecute the Ku Klux Klan.
He was not without shortcomings though — being accused as a drunk, a butcher and a corrupt would-be dictator by his detractors.
The new miniseries takes a somewhat unorthodox approach to its traditional format: it features talking-head interviews and narrated excerpts from Grant’s memoirs with dramatic reenactments of key events in his life.
Early reviews have commented that the miniseries is a clear condemnation of the Confederacy, who Grant called “rebels and traitors” to the grand democratic experiment of the United States.
Confederate adversary Robert E. Lee is seen in the miniseries as a symbol of the intolerant, aristocratic, treasonous old guard, while Grant is the emblem of a more open, just, unified modern America.
“Grant” premieres on the History Channel, Memorial Day at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. It will air subsequent episodes nightly through May 27.