"This is the simple soldier who, all untaught by the silken phrase-makers, linked words together with an art surpassing the art of the schools and put into them something which will bring to American ears, as long as America shall last, the roll of his vanished drums and the tread of his marching hosts."-Mark Twain. "This record of Grant's campaigns may well rank . . . as the most remarkable work of its kind since the Commentaries of Julius Caesar. . . . A unique expression of the national character."-Edmund Wilson, Patriotic Gore. At the age of thirty-nine, Ulysses Simpson Grant volunteered to command a regiment after the attack on Fort Sumter. His campaign in early 1862 against Forts Henry and Donelson resulted in the first major Union victory of the Civil War. Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga-the great battles in the West that followed-are stunningly described in Personal Memoirs. After Grant's rise to commanding general of the Army of the Potomac in March 1864, the narrative reveals the pressure on him to produce victories and the gradual success of his overall strategy, leading to General Lee's surrender of Confederate forces at Appomattox. Although Grant went on to become president of the United States, Personal Memoirs ends with his Civil War service. The memoirs were written in 1884-85 when Grant was deeply in debt and dying of throat cancer. Fighting pain with cocaine, composing in long hand because he could no longer dictate, the general completed his great work less than a week before his death. A huge commercial as well as critical success, Personal Memoirs redeemed his name and provided for his survivors. Brooks D. Simpson is a professor of American history at Arizona StateUniversity and the author of Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868.
EXCERPTS: The Leader's Bookshelf
Posted April 20, 2017, 9:02 AM with category of Leadership & StrategyIf you think you have read a lot for your job, let me introduce you to the bookshelf of General James Mattis. Read more
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