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Ulysses S. Grant : Memoirs and Selected Letters : Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant / Selected Letters, 1839-1865 (Library of America) Hardcover – October 1, 1990
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From Library Journal
While the complete writings of this pair of Civil Warriors would fill several shelves, the material contained in this two-volume boxed set offers a good selection of their letters and personal reminiscences. Though both of these men are certainly not the most inspirational figures of American history, as two of the paladins of the Union Army, however, Grant and Sherman offer firsthand insights into the waging of the war that cannot be found elsewhere. As historical documents, the significance of these papers is obvious, but the texts also score high points for the quality of the writing itself; Sherman's reflections were hailed by Mark Twain as "a model narrative that will last as long as the language lasts." The hub of the material, of course, focuses on the war years, but Sherman's volume also contains memoirs of his pre-Civil War life in California, and unique to this edition is the inclusion of 175 of Grant's personal letters. More than a reprint of readily available material, these volumes include the same scrupulously detailed notes on the text by recognized scholars that make the Library of America editions superior to their predecessors. This fine set belongs in most history collections. Highly recommended.
- Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Perhaps the most revelatory autobiography of high command to exist in any language. -- John Keegan
Ulysses S. Grant wrote his Personal Memoirs as he was dying of throat cancer in order to secure his family's financial future. In doing so, the Civil War's greatest general, and who went on to become President of the United States, won himself a unique place in American letters. His character, sense of purpose, and simple compassion are evident through this deeply moving account, as well as in the letters to his wife, Julia, included here. Ulysses S. Grant: Memoirs and Selected Letters is published on acid free paper to insure longevity and is a wonderful addition to any academic, personal or public library collection. -- Midwest Book Review
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His immediate accounts on taking full command of the Army of the Potomac is one that I love. The fact that he spent a week hearing nothing about what Bobby Lee was going to do.... Then he turned the question around, just what are WE going to do to Bobby Lee, not what is he going to do to us, that should be the Union's prime focus.
And the rest is history. The corruption of his presidency does not outweigh his generalship. These memoirs restored his family finances and justly so. They are a treasure of American generalship, I applaud Library of America for keeping them in print.
Difficult to put down.
To be fair, some of this stuff is pretty dry. There is a lot of detail on troops movements, supply lines, and other boring minutiae, but obsessing about this stuff is probably why Grant was such an effective general.
It's a rewarding read, but be prepared to tough it out in spots.