Personal Memoirs

Personal Memoirs


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Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S. Grant

“The foremost military memoir in the English language, written in a clear, supple style . . . a masterpiece.” —Ron Chernow, in Grant

Faced with cancer and financial ruin, Ulysses S. Grant wrote his personal memoirs to secure his family's future—and won himself a unique place in American letters. Acclaimed by writers as diverse as Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein, Grant's memoirs demonstrate the intelligence, intense determination, and laconic modesty that made him the Union's foremost commander. Personal Memoirs is devoted almost entirely to his life as a soldier, tracing the trajectory of his extraordinary career from West Point cadet to general-in-chief of all Union armies. With their directness and clarity, his writings on war are without rival in American literature.

This edition of Grant’s Personal Memoirs includes an indispensable introduction and explanatory notes by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140437010
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1999
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Pages: 704
Sales rank: 525,621
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885) was born Hiram Ulysses Grant in Point Pleasant, Ohio, and worked on the family farm until his appointment in 1839 to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. There, he was erroneously registered as “U. S. Grant”—a change that he would adopt for the rest of his life. He served in the Mexican War (1846­–1848) under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. After the outbreak of the Civil War, Grant was appointed colonel of a militia regiment, and moved up through the ranks of the army, eventually becoming lieutenant general with command of all the armies of the United States and leading the Union army to victory in 1865. From 1869–1877 he served as the eighteenth president of the United States. Encouraged by his friend Mark Twain, Grant began preparing his memoirs in 1884. The Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant were completed just a few days before his death on July 23, 1885.

James M. McPherson, the George Henry David Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University, is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, as well as the award-winning books The Struggle for Equality, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, and Tried for War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief, among others. In 2007, he was the first recipient of the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military history, and in 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Personal Memoirs 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Alan_Houston More than 1 year ago
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.
MJT More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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