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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant is an autobiography of American President Ulysses S. Grant, focused mainly on the general's actions during the American Civil War. Written as Grant was dying in 1885, the two volume set was published by Mark Twain shortly after Grant's death.

These Memoirs have been highly regarded by the general public, military historians and literary critics. Grant was a shrewd, intelligent, and effective writer. He portrayed himself in the persona of the honorable Western hero, whose strength lies in his honesty and straightforwardness. He candidly depicts his battles against both the external Confederates and his internal Army foes. The autobiography is unusual but not unique in that large sections of Grant's life (most notably, his childhood and his presidency) are given brief mention or not discussed at all. The focus of the book is Grant's military career—his service in the Mexican-American War and the Civil War.

 Grant's writing has been praised for its conciseness and clarity—a sharp contrast from contemporary Civil War memoirs, which tended to reflect the Victorian fondness for elaborate (and sometimes overblown) language.

Many years ago I had read what is purported to be the best military autobiography ever, that is, Caesars Commentaries on the Gallic Wars.  Yes, they were most dramatic and interesting, if a bit of self-promotion to his friends and enemies back in Rome. Imagine my surprise when I learned that stodgy, plodding, Ulysses Sam Grants writings were considered comparable to Caesars work.  I vowed then to read Grants work someday.  It took many years later a Christmas gift of a Nook for me to find the book available from Barnes and Noble for only two dollars. I read it… and it was well worth the investment and more. If you’re a Civil War buff or know one,  I recommend most highly, you get this memoir and get the facts straight  finally on who did what and why…..  This is all for only two bucks at that at Barnes and Noble.  J


Jo's World said...

Is it the Nook version that is $2?
I would like reading this myself, I think.

Thanks for the tip!


David Oliver said...

I know almost nothing about Grant so I should probably read it. I am not a fan of the Civil War though, I find documentaries and shows about it depressing. Still a great writer is a great writer despite the subject matter.

Montanagirl said...

My husband would really enjoy this book.

Ien in the Kootenays said...

I do not share the USA fascination with the civil war, but you always make the books sound interesting. Funny, I started reading this review, and immediately flashed on Caesar, who I intend to read one of these days. Meanwhile, for any fan of quality historical fiction, may I recommend Geraldine Brooks' "March", set in the war.

Anvilcloud said...

It sounds like a good read for those interested in that era.

NCmountainwoman said...

I'll definitely look into this one. I am a devoted Civil War buff.

Our Neck of the Woods said...

That sounds like a great read! I'm not a Civil War buff, but you described it so well that I wouldn't mind reading it. I like that his language is clear and concise; not overly elaborate and wordy.

Lo said...

Hi, TB......don't worry, I will not desert you. This blog seems to be just fine.....the other one is navy blue. Has anyone else mentioned this? When you look at that blog, do you see mavy blue too?

You may have to go to Preferences or wherever the details of your layout is and see if anything has changed or perhaps change your specs. I do hope you can fix it.

Love,m Lo