U.S. Grant was one of the greatest American presidents, despite what propaganda you may read in the history books. It was Grant alone who made valient efforts to enforce black rights, after Johnson's failure to enforce the law. Despite the political unpopularity of such moves, he did not back down. It was Hayes who followed who made a deal with the Southern Democrats to violate black voting rights that overturned Grant's humane and constitutional policy.
Grant was the first modern president and made sure the US steadily advanced toward becoming a world power. After the chaos and destruction of the Civil War, Grant's careful managemant of domestic and foreign policy brought about a dramatic rise of America to the forefront of nations.
There is a great book on Grant by Frank J. Scaturro called President Grant Reconsidered. You can find Frank J. Scaturro's book here.
Because of the intellectuals' bias against him, they could not even see the humor behind a traveling Grant's remark about draining the Venetian canals; they could not imagine he had a subtle sense of humor. Does this remind us of current affairs or what??