Personal Memoirsby Ulysses S. Grant
Among the autobiographies of great military figures, Ulysses S. Grant's is certainly one of the finest, and it is arguably the most notable literary achievement of any American president: a lucid, compelling, and brutally honest chronicle of triumph and failure.
"One of the most unflinching studies of war in our literature." --William McFeeley
Among the autobiographies of great military figures, Ulysses S. Grant's is certainly one of the finest, and it is arguably the most notable literary achievement of any American president: a lucid, compelling, and brutally honest chronicle of triumph and failure. From his frontier boyhood to his heroics in battle to the grinding poverty from which the Civil War ironically "rescued" him, these memoirs are a mesmerizing, deeply moving account of a brilliant man, told with great courage as he reflects on the fortunes that shaped his life and his character. Written under excruciating circumstances (as Grant was dying of throat cancer), encouraged and edited from its very inception by Mark Twain, it is a triumph of the art of autobiography.
The books in the Modern Library War series have been chosen by series editor Caleb Carr according to the significance of their subject matter, their contribution to the field of military history, and their literary merit.
"A unique expression of the national character....[Grant] has conveyed the suspense which was felt by himself and his army and by all who believed in the Union cause. The reader finds himself...on edge toknow how the Civil War is coming out." --Edmund Wilson
- Penguin Publishing Group
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Meet the Author
Ulysses S. Grant, commander in chief of the Union forces during the final years of the Civil War and eighteenth president of the United States, was born on April 27, 1822, and died on July 23, 1885, less than one week after completing work on this book.
Caleb Carr is the bestselling author of the novels The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, as well as a critically acclaimed biography of an American mercenary, The Devil Soldier. He writes frequently on military history for The New York Times and MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, where he is a contributing editor.
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The Barnes & Noble page for this book shows a photo of the cover of the COMPLETE Penguin edition of Grant's Memoirs, with an introduction and notes by James McPherson. That edition has a table of contents, footnotes, and an index. The Nook link on that page sends you a poorly photocopied library edition of ONLY volume two of Grant's Memoirs, with NO table of contents, no introduction, no index....simply some photocopied pages of volume two. Refund? Barnes & Noble does not provide refunds for Nook books. The only recourse if Barnes & Noble misrepresents an e-book is to sue in small claims court.
Outstanding…I have read other books on General Ulysses S. Grant, but there is nothing that tops reading his own account. I thoroughly was engrossed in his memoirs and although he recorded these words over 120 years ago, I found it fascinating to read about the events he witnessed first-hand. I also found several comments from the General’s book that I feel are relevant today. For instance, he says, “No political party can or ought to exist when one of its cornerstones is opposition to freedom of thought and to the right to worship God ‘according to the dictate of one’s own conscience,’ or according to the creed of any religious denomination whatever.” It was interesting to read about the media of the time in which the General lived and to consider the media of today—has it really changed? For instance, the General related how the Southern press, during the war, always promoted their army and insisted battles were southern victories, even if they weren’t. In contrast, speaking of the Northern Press, the General stated the following, “The Northern press, as a whole, did not discourage these claims; a portion of it always magnified rebel success and belittled ours, while another portion, most sincerely earnest in their desire for the preservation of the Union and the overwhelming success of the Federal armies, would nevertheless generally express dissatisfaction with whatever victories were gained because they were not more complete.” Later, when speaking about the press, during his travels following the Civil War, the General recorded the following, “Correspondents of the press were ever on hand to hear every word dropped, and were not always disposed to report correctly what did not confirm their preconceived notions, either about the conduct of the war or the individuals concerned in it”. As a retired military member, I also found the following comment General Grant made out of respect in regards to General Meade, whom he superseded when taking total Command of all the Federal armies, he stated, “It is men who wait to be selected, and not those who seek, from whom we may always expect the most effective service.” Lastly, I personally have great admiration for President Lincoln, and still believe he was our greatest President, with the exception of President Washington, and reading General Grant’s words on President Lincoln re-enforced my belief. General Grant said of President Lincoln, “I knew his goodness of heart, his generosity, his yielding disposition, his desire to see all people of the United States enter again upon the full privileges of citizenship with equality among all.” This is a great book and I highly encourage those who want to understand more of our nation’s history and what it was like when it was being torn apart from someone who lived it and played a key role—General and later, President Grant!
One of the best historical memoirs I have ever read. You get the opportunity to experience the joy of victory and the agony of defeat. Grant also shares with you his love and concerns for all the troops under his command. He shares a great respect for his enemy combatents and hates the idea of this entire conflict.