Grant was sick and broke when he began work on his Memoirs. Driven by financial worries and a desire to provide for his wife, he wrote diligently during a year of deteriorating health. He vowed he would finish the work before he died. One week after its completion, he lay dead at the age of 63.
Publication of the Memoirs came at a time when the public was being treated to a spate of wartime reminiscences, many of them defensive in nature, seeking to refight battles or attack old enemies. Grant's penetrating and stately work reveals a nobility of spirit and an innate grasp of the important fact, which he rarely displayed in private life. He writes in his preface that he took up the task "with a sincere desire to avoid doing injustice to anyone, whether on the National or the Confederate side."
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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. MillerFrom the Publisher:
A digital reproduction of the first edition in two volumes, unabridged, originally published in 1885 by Samuel Clemens under the Charles L. Webster Company imprint. Included are illustrations, maps and correspondence between Grant and his staff and military colleagues. The CDROM is fully printable and text searchable. Easy to install Adobe Acrobat Reader included. System Requirements: Pentium processor-based personal computer Windows 95 or Windows NT Windows 3.1 16 MB of RAM available to Acrobat Reader 10 MB of available hard-disk space Macintosh and Power Macintosh Minimum Macintosh with a 68020 or greater processor, or Power Macintosh 12 MB of available hard-disk space Adobe Acrobat Reader
3.5 MB of RAM (5 MB for Power Macintosh) available to Acrobat Reader Apple System Software version 7.0 or later recommended.
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