Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant (Two Volumes in One)

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9780803270602: Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant (Two Volumes in One)

At the age of thirty-nine, Ulysses Simpson Grant volunteered to command a regiment after the attack on Fort Sumter. His campaign in early 1862 against Forts Henry and Donelson resulted in the first major Union victory of the Civil War. Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga—the great battles in the West that followed—are stunningly described in Personal Memoirs. After Grant’s rise to commanding general of the Army of the Potomac in March 1864, the narrative reveals the pressure on him to produce victories and the gradual success of his overall strategy, leading to General Lee’s surrender of Confederate forces at Appomattox.

Although Grant went on to become president of the United States, Personal Memoirs ends with his Civil War service. The memoirs were written in 1884–85 when Grant was deeply in debt and dying of throat cancer. Fighting pain with cocaine, composing in long hand because he could no longer dictate, the general completed his great work less than a week before his death. A huge commercial as well as critical success, Personal Memoirs redeemed his name and provided for his survivors.

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Review:

Destitute and wracked by throat cancer, Ulysses S. Grant finished writing his Personal Memoirs shortly before his death in 1885. Today their clear prose stands as a model of autobiography. Civil War soldiers are often celebrated for the high literary quality of the letters they sent home from the front lines; Grant's own book is probably the best piece of writing produced by a participant in the War Between the States. Apart from Lincoln, no man deserves more credit for securing the Northern victory than Grant, and this chronicle of campaigns and battles tells how he did it. (The book also made a bundle of money for his family, which had been reeling from the failure of Grant's brokerage firm.) This is not an overview of the entire Civil War; as the North was beating the South on the third day of Gettysburg, for example, Grant was in Mississippi capturing Vicksburg. But it is a great piece of writing, one that can be appreciated even by readers with little interest in military history. --John J. Miller

From the Publisher:

This reprint set has wide margins and large print for easy on the eyes reading. It is available in both Hardcover(ISBN 1582180288) and Tradepaper (ISBN 1582180059) sets.

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Grant, Ulysses S.
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