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Ulysses S. Grant
Among the autobiographies of great military figures, Ulysses S. Grant's is certainly one of the finest, and it is arguably the most notable literary achievement of any American president: a lucid, compelling, and brutally honest chronicle of triumph and failure.  

Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant
CD-ROM Vol 1&2 (1998)

 From his frontier boyhood to his heroics in battle to the grinding poverty from which the Civil War ironically "rescued" him, these memoirs are a mesmerizing, deeply moving account of a brilliant man, told with great courage as he reflects on the fortunes that shaped his life and his character.   Written under excruciating circumstances (as Grant was dying of throat cancer), encouraged and edited from its very inception by Mark Twain, it is a triumph of the art of autobiography.
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.

Ulysses S. Grant
(Bibliographies of the Presidents of the United States 1789-1989 No 18)
by Simpson   Hardcover (2000)

Washington, Lincoln, Grant -- these were once the triumvirate of American nationalism.   But, like his tomb on the Hudson, Grant's reputation has fallen into disrepair.   The image many Americans hold of him is a caricature: someone "uniquely stupid," an insensitive butcher as a general, an incompetent mediocrity as president, and a drunk.   Several efforts to counter this stereotype have often gone too far in the other direction, resulting in an equally distorted laudatory portrait of near-perfection.   In reading the original sources, Brooks D. Simpson became convinced that Grant was neither a bumbling idiot who was the darling of fortune nor a flawless general who could do no wrong.   Rather, he was a tangle of opposing qualities -- a relentless warrior but a generous victor, a commander who drew upon uncommon common sense in drafting campaign plans and in winning battles, a soldier so sensitive to suffering that he could not stand to see the bloody hides at his father's tannery, a man who made mistakes and sometimes learned from them.   Even as he waged war, he realized the broader political implications of the struggle; he came to believe that the preservation of the Union depended upon the destruction of slavery.    Equally compelling is Grant's personal story -- one of a man who struggled against great odds, bad luck, and personal humiliation, who sought joy and love in the arms of his wife and his children, and who was determined to overcome adversity and prevail over his detractors.

An outstanding work -- especially on the post-Civil War era.   As the author of a book on the Civil War and another on the Reconstruction era, I highly recommend McFeely's biography of Grant.    McFeely is not only a fine historian, he is a first-rate writer, offering sharp portraits of
Grant and the figures who surrounded him; clear, insightful expositions on important issues; and a compelling narrative.   The great strength of this work is its coverage of Grant's rise to the presidency and his two terms in the White House -- one of the finest portraits of this dramatic, pivotal era, filled with everything from Indian wars to staggering political corruption to the first great struggle over civil rights.    The book is weaker on Grant's military career during the Civil War; as McFeely draws out information about the general's personal life, he seems to neglect both the details and the grand scale of Grant's achievements on the battlefield. All told, however, this remains a classic biography -- and a pleasure to read. --T.J. Stiles, author of IN THEIR OWN WORDS: ROBBER BARONS AND RADICALS

The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant
(Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant)
by John Simon, Julia Dent Grant
Paperback  (1988)

Loved it!   I read General Grant's Memoirs and enjoyed them so much, I thought I'd have a go at his wife's Memoirs.   I am glad I did.   This is an unexpected and rare treasure. I have read so many other books from the Victorian-era that are stuffy, stilted and uptight.   This book is none of these things. Julia Grant is an interesting woman with a very sharp sense of humor.   You can see why General Grant was so in love with her.
That's the thing that impressed me the most.   This book is a real-life love story, about two people who remained in love (and one gathers, "in lust") with one another from day one until Grant died. Julia lets the reader know very well that she loved him and he loved her.   I think this is more of a woman's book than a man's book, but I give it my highest recommendation!

Memoirs and Selected Letters:
Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, Selected Letters, 1839-1865

by Ulysses S. Grant, Mary D. McFeely, William S. McFeely
Hardcover (1990)

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.

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