Books: White House Kids

PRESIDENTS' SONS (451 pp.) — J. J. Perling—Odyssey ($4).

Ulysses S. Grant, a good general and a poor President, credited his sons with virtues they never had. He reportedly thought that Ulysses Jr. had a "marvelous business capacity; that Colonel Frederick Grant was fit to command armies; that Jesse was a mathematical genius." The less indulgent New York World insisted that "the Grant sons, but for the accident of their father's presidency, might have been respectable drygoods clerks in Galena."

In Presidents' Sons, Author J. J. Perling has gone to the unrewarding trouble of probing the obscurity that most of the presidential...

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