Pete Grady is the author and performer of Unconditional Surrender: A Visit with Ulysses S. Grant, a one-man show about the life and times of the Civil War General and 18th President of the United States. Grady has presented his show over 60 times in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Missouri at venues including museums, libraries, and community theaters, and at private gatherings as diverse as a meeting of alumni of the United States Military Academy, and a gathering of Iowans who claim descent from passengers on the Mayflower. He has performed the show in a meeting room in the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, in an outbuilding of an Iowa station on the Underground Railroad, on the front porch of a house built by a Civil War Veteran, at a Maquoketa, Iowa hotel frequented by Grant, at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis Missouri, and around a roaring campfire in a special performance for a Boy Scout Camporee.
Grady is a 1975 graduate of St. Ambrose College, Davenport, and a 1984 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law in Iowa City. In October, 2016 Grady retired from the Iowa Department of Justice where he served as an Assistant Attorney General. Grady lives in Marshalltown Iowa and has served that community on the board of the Mid-Iowa Community Action agency, the Marshalltown Community Theatre, and as a member of the St. Mary Parish Council.
Unconditional Surrender: A Visit with Ulysses S. Grant
A performance of Unconditional Surrender: A Visit with Ulysses S. Grant runs 60-70 minutes, and features period music, photographs, and cartoons as Grant reviews his life—an informative, humorous and touching portrayal of the victorious General whose strategy and tenacity won the Civil War, the President who struggled to rebuild his nation after the war, and the husband and father whose final efforts were devoted to the financial support of his wife and family.
The performance focuses on Grant’s experiences as President and Lieutenant General of the United States Army, but it also touches Grant’s childhood in Ohio, his military service in the Mexican War and his resignation from the U.S. Army and subsequent attempts to support his family as a civilian. The show is presented as Grant, in the final weeks of his life, struggles to complete his autobiography before his death from cancer of the throat in July, 1885. The performance features mentions of Iowa’s special contributions to the Union cause, and includes a discussion of the effect of the Mexican War on the map of Iowa. In addition, on request, Grady will adapt the performance to include historical items of local interest.