President Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885) was one of the most esteemed individuals of the nineteenth century. His two-volume memoirs, sold door-to-door by former Union soldiers, have never gone out of print and were once as ubiquitous in American households as the Bible. Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein, Matthew Arnold, Henry James, and Edmund Wilson hailed these works as great literature, and presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both credit Grant with influencing their own writing. Yet a judiciously annotated clarifying edition of these memoirs has never been produced until now.
The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant is the first comprehensively annotated edition of Grant’s memoirs, fully representing the great military leader’s thoughts on his life and times through the end of the Civil War and his invaluable perspective on battlefield decision making. An introduction contextualizes Grant’s life and significance, and lucid editorial commentary allows the president’s voice and narrative to shine through. With annotations compiled by the editors in the Ulysses S. Grant Association’s Presidential Library, this definitive edition enriches our understanding of the antebellum era, the Mexican War, and the Civil War. Grant provides insight into how rigorously these events tested America’s democratic institutions and the cohesion of its social order.
The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant preserves and extends a work of profound political, historical, and literary significance and serves as the gateway for modern readers of all backgrounds to an American classic.