Yes. I now do believe after reading several books about Grant that it can be said that he his one of the top 5 most important men in US History maybe top 3 behind Washington, Lincoln then Grant. He was a bulldog but a soft spoken humble man as well. How does one blend both of those traits to the success that he did. He was so patient and truly brilliant and it shows through his writing. I believe the hand of God was with him and Lincoln. He was a man of fate and circumstance and he must have had incredible notes to have such detail of events so many years before and to have written much of this in the twilight of his life while sick. A truly remarkable man and what a brutal war the like the world has never seen. I highly recommend that everyone should read this book by one of the greatest Americans ever to walk this earth.
How well it is put together and well written.
I am not sure. It is not the voice I would have put to Grant. I would like to have had a deeper more powerful voice.
I am in awe that we can be in the mind of such a man and the fact that it was written and unaltered from so long ago. I am truly stunned at Grant's insight in being able to say that he knew that even those that fought for the South and their offspring would one day come to wonder why they fought for a cause that would keep men oppressed as slaves. Those who say the war was not over slavery should read this book. Grant and Lincoln both hated slavery and it is clear it is the main reason for Grant to be able to win the war to end slavery. I am so sad that so much blood had to be spilled and on our own soil.
Those who fought in the Civil War especially the common soldier should be given immense respect and awe. So many of their lives were expended so carelessly and brutally but the cause was so great and Thank You to Lincoln and Grant and all the Union Soldiers for fighting such a cause. Let's not forget our past history so we don't repeat the mistakes and give the homage to the veterans of all wars. My lineage has soldiers on both sides as it goes through Arkansas and Missouri during those times but the south was clearly on the wrong side of history for this event. God Bless America!
I am glad for the effort placed in recording this noble general's last words. But I am very disappointed in the choice of narrator. Although he did s fair rendering, it seems that no consideration was given for what Grant's voice might have sounded like, deep, reasoned and commanding seasoned by years of road dust and cigars, humble and yet supremely confident in his own perspective.
You really get to experience the mind of a General, and how he experienced "the war for the preservation of the Union". I was surprised at how straightforward and humble he is in these memoirs, written after he had served two terms as President. He has good things to say about almost all of the men who appear in the memoirs, and when he doesn't have much good to say, he says nothing (e.g. about McClellan). He settles no scores, but rights injustices that he believes have been done to others in the press and the histories written before his. There are even rare moments of mild humor or irony. He is at all times respectful of his opponents, and praises their gallantry when he thinks it appropriate. He seems an even greater man than I gave him credit for.
The siege of Vicksburg and the surrender at Appomattox were the two most dramatic passages in the book for me. I find them compelling partly because Grant's simple, direct unembellished description. He wrote as if everyone already knows the grandeur and significance of these events, so there is no need for him to wax dramatic about them. His confident and modest understatement lets the reader recreate the drama internally for himself.
Grant of course is the only real character. But I have to say that I LOVE this narrator. He really sounds as I imagine Grant's voice would sound. The reading is direct, low key, and perfectly in tune with the plain style of the writing.
Many passages are recountings of troop movements and tactical issues (muddy roads, fog, cold, supply problems, logistics, topography, railroads, etc.) which in and of themselves are only semi-interesting except to a specialist. Still, as I listen even to those passages and stop paying attention to the detail, I still enjoy the book because the voice of the reader really conveys the subtext of the memoir, which is how complex and exhausting the war really was.
One thing I expected is detailed, emotional descriptions of the hell of war. But Grant, while not denying it, never really addresses it either. The story of the bloody massacre by the South of "colored" prisoners, or of the horrible fiery deaths in the Wilderness, are mentioned, but matter-of-factly, without dwelling on them. It is as though Grant knows that we all know these stories, so there is no need for him to hype them. And as a General, he had to put aside such considerations as best he could in order to do his job.
yes and no. the friend would have to really enjoy the civil war.
sadly never made it to the end because the download started to replay the vol 3 in the middle of vol 4.
The narrator performed well considering the length of Grant's memoirs.
I would but it would be hard to keep it between 90 or 120 minutes.
I came to this work aware of the critical acclaim that rated it as one of the best, if not THE best, Presidential memoirs. Perhaps that's true? But if true, what an indictment on the quality of Presidential memoirs!
On a positive note, the first chapters where Grant describes his boyhood and early military career captivated me. If the book had remained that personal, it really could've been a masterpiece. But the further one gets into the work, the less personal it becomes. Perhaps the conventions of Grant's day or his unwillingness to open up limited the potential for this work? Whatever the reasons, it's a shame.
The story of how Grant navigated the perils of political intrigue that threatened to derail his ultimate rise to lead the Union forces was a story I wanted to hear from his perspective. Yet he makes little mention of it. At times he does acknowledge enmity between himself and others, but he limits critical comments and devotes more description on those he has a positive opinion of.
Another huge disappointment for me was the absence of any description of his staff and his day to day routine in the field. Considering how large a portion of his life experience was spent in that environment it would've been interesting to hear about it.
Another unfortunate omission is that Grant gives us no sense or understanding of what it was that gave him the ability to see battle outcomes that lesser leaders could not. Time after time he describes military maneuvers at particular battles that he accurately predicts will affect a desired outcome but he does so without giving us a glimpse into his military genius.
Finally, the last half of the book was completed after Grant's terminal illness was diagnosed. The limited time before his death forces a fast pace that further reduced what personal reflection he offered earlier in the work.
In summation the work is uneven and overall it disappointed me. Too much of the book was told as though Grant was mak
No, This was a book about the Civil War, not his autobiography. The book ends at the end of the civil war. He recounts each battle of the civil war, chapter after chapter. At first it was interesting, but it was the same thing over and over.
Wrote his autobiography, not recount battle after battle of the civil war.
It was not a memoir of his life. Very disappointing.
Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.
Most of the book consists of reports of moving this unit here and that unit there.....over and over and over...there are very few human interest recollections....I wanted to like the book because of Grant's having written it and because it is so highly regarded as a military memoir, but I was bored to death. I listened to about one-third of the book, then skipped through sections of it to the end, only to find that it did not change after the first third.