Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S.Grant

Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S.Grant

Paperback Penguin Classics

By (author) Ulysses S. Grant, Introduction by James M. McPherson

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 704 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 32mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 24 June 1999
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140437010
  • ISBN 13: 9780140437010
  • Illustrations note: 48 pp b&w illustrations & maps
  • Sales rank: 143,650

Product description

Faced with cancer and financial ruin, the Civil War's greatest general and former president, Ulysses S. Grant wrote his personal memoirs to secure his family's future. In doing so, he 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. For their directness and clarity, his writings on war are without rival in American Literature.

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Author information

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the eighteenth president of the United States, graduated from West Point, fought in the Mexican War, and led the Union army to victory in the Civil War. James M. McPherson, George Henry David Professor of History at Princeton University, is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM.

Editorial reviews

It is said the Ulysses S Grant was a failure in everything except marriage and war. This isn't quite true; he must also be accounted a considerable success as a writer, even though this success came so late in his life. As he was dying of throat cancer he faced the prospect of leaving his family destitute because of unwise investments (he always failed at business). He wrote his memoirs at the behest of a publisher, finishing them only days before he died, and the success ensured his family's future. And rightly so, for these memoirs are among the finest works of literature to have emerged from the American Civil war. Beautifully written, with lucid, clear prose that instantly brings great events to life, Grant tells a stirring story that takes us from his childhood to his experiences in the Mexican War, then garrison duty in California shortly before the gold rush, resignation from the army to pursue a variety of doomed busineess ventures (though unfailingly honest himself, he was never able to recognize graft or duplicity in others), and then the war. His account of his wartime experiences is reportage of a very high order, and because Grant was present at (and indeed largely responsible for) many of the most important Union victories of the war from Forts Henry and Donaldson to Shiloch, Vicksburg, Chattanooga and on to the surrender a Appomattox, we are treated to an intimate glimpse of turning points in the conflict. The memoirs end with the grand parade at the finale of the war; they don't take us on to Grant's unhappy time as president, though perhaps that is just as well. With an introduction by James M McPherson, one of the finest of contemporary Civil War historians, this is a book that deserves to be read by anyone with an interest in the people who make history. (Kirkus UK)

Back cover copy

Faced with failing health and financial ruin, the Civil War's greatest general and former president wrote his personal memoirs to secure his family's future - and won himself a unique place in American letters. Devoted almost entirely to his life as a soldier, Grant's Memoirs traces the trajectory of his extraordinary career - from West Point cadet to general-in-chief of all Union armies. For their directness and clarity, his writings on war are without rival in American literature, and his autobiography deserves a place among the very best in the genre.