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Famous for his military acumen and for his part in saving the Union during the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant also remains known for his two-volume memoirs, considered among the greatest military memoirs ever written. Grant’s other writings, however, have not received the same acclaim, even though they show the same literary skill. Originally published in the thirty- Famous for his military acumen and for his part in saving the Union during the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant also remains known for his two-volume memoirs, considered among the greatest military memoirs ever written. Grant’s other writings, however, have not received the same acclaim, even though they show the same literary skill. Originally published in the thirty-two volumes of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, the letters and speeches are the major source of information about Grant’s life and era and have played a key role in elevating his reputation to that of the leading general of the Civil War and the first of the modern presidents. In this collection, editor John F. Marszalek presents excerpts from Grant’s  most insightful and skillfully composed writings and provides perspective through introductory comments tying each piece to the next. The result is a fascinating overview of Grant’s life and career. In sixteen chronological chapters, selections from Grant’s letters and other writings reveal his personal thoughts on the major events of his momentous life, including the start of the Civil War, the capture of Vicksburg, Lincoln’s reelection, Lee’s surrender, his terms as president, the Panic of 1873, and his bouts of mouth and throat cancer. Throughout, Grant’s prose reveals clearly the power of his words and his ability to present them well. Although some historians have maligned his presidency as one of the most corrupt periods in American history, these writings reinforce Grant’s greatness as a general, demonstrate the importance of his presidency, and show him to be one of the driving forces of the nineteenth century. With this compendium, Marszalek not only celebrates the literary talent of one of America’s greatest military figures but also vindicates an individual who, for so long, has been unfairly denigrated. A concise reference for students of American history and Civil War enthusiasts as well as a valuable introduction for those who are new to Grant’s writings, this volume provides intriguing insight into one of the nineteenth century’s most important Americans.


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Famous for his military acumen and for his part in saving the Union during the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant also remains known for his two-volume memoirs, considered among the greatest military memoirs ever written. Grant’s other writings, however, have not received the same acclaim, even though they show the same literary skill. Originally published in the thirty- Famous for his military acumen and for his part in saving the Union during the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant also remains known for his two-volume memoirs, considered among the greatest military memoirs ever written. Grant’s other writings, however, have not received the same acclaim, even though they show the same literary skill. Originally published in the thirty-two volumes of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, the letters and speeches are the major source of information about Grant’s life and era and have played a key role in elevating his reputation to that of the leading general of the Civil War and the first of the modern presidents. In this collection, editor John F. Marszalek presents excerpts from Grant’s  most insightful and skillfully composed writings and provides perspective through introductory comments tying each piece to the next. The result is a fascinating overview of Grant’s life and career. In sixteen chronological chapters, selections from Grant’s letters and other writings reveal his personal thoughts on the major events of his momentous life, including the start of the Civil War, the capture of Vicksburg, Lincoln’s reelection, Lee’s surrender, his terms as president, the Panic of 1873, and his bouts of mouth and throat cancer. Throughout, Grant’s prose reveals clearly the power of his words and his ability to present them well. Although some historians have maligned his presidency as one of the most corrupt periods in American history, these writings reinforce Grant’s greatness as a general, demonstrate the importance of his presidency, and show him to be one of the driving forces of the nineteenth century. With this compendium, Marszalek not only celebrates the literary talent of one of America’s greatest military figures but also vindicates an individual who, for so long, has been unfairly denigrated. A concise reference for students of American history and Civil War enthusiasts as well as a valuable introduction for those who are new to Grant’s writings, this volume provides intriguing insight into one of the nineteenth century’s most important Americans.

14 review for The Best Writings of Ulysses S. Grant

  1. 4 out of 5

    jpzorpp

    This book was a joy to read. I'm reading it alongside his memoirs and between the two I've found that his narrative voice is very appealing -- straightforward, wry and insightful, often funny, but alongside that it cuts right to the heart of matters, no flowery purple prose, though he at times does ecstatically describe a beautiful landscape or wax lyrically about his Dear Julia and how much he misses her and their children. Interspersed with these endearing personal touches are Grant's military This book was a joy to read. I'm reading it alongside his memoirs and between the two I've found that his narrative voice is very appealing -- straightforward, wry and insightful, often funny, but alongside that it cuts right to the heart of matters, no flowery purple prose, though he at times does ecstatically describe a beautiful landscape or wax lyrically about his Dear Julia and how much he misses her and their children. Interspersed with these endearing personal touches are Grant's military writings which demonstrate focus of conception and clarity of expression that eluded so many other generals and politicians of his age (seriously, you should read their memoirs.) Highly recommended!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Schoppie

    Contrary to what he believed, Ulysses S. Grant was a wonderful writer, and he wrote in a clear, direct manner. Having read his Personal Memoirs many years ago, I was delighted to see this book. Grant was a simple man, a talented, aggressive general, and an honest public servant. This book of his writings is a fine volume which allows insight into Grant the man, as many of these writings were not intended for publication. I never cease to be touched when I read about Grant's final months and his Contrary to what he believed, Ulysses S. Grant was a wonderful writer, and he wrote in a clear, direct manner. Having read his Personal Memoirs many years ago, I was delighted to see this book. Grant was a simple man, a talented, aggressive general, and an honest public servant. This book of his writings is a fine volume which allows insight into Grant the man, as many of these writings were not intended for publication. I never cease to be touched when I read about Grant's final months and his courageous battle with the cancer that claimed his life, and I read his final writings with special interest. I admire U.S. Grant very much, and this volume increased my respect for him. I can only lament that more politicians and leaders do not follow his example in their public as well as personal lives. A wonderful book!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Diane Turner

  4. 4 out of 5

    Clinton Stockwell

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jon Scott

  6. 5 out of 5

    lfg

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bill Powers

  8. 4 out of 5

    Conrad Wesselhoeft

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  10. 4 out of 5

    Noah

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joe Liporace

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joe Leonardo

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brett Martin

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