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!
This is an engaging narrative along the lines of Shelby Foote's Civil War, but from one it's major players. Grant is a good writer who gives you the benefit of his insight which includes the War with Mexico and his interpretation of the political context surrounding the Civil War and reconstruction. Grant also offers his opinion of leaders and their decisions on both sides of the conflict.
I've owned the printed version of this book for years and only sampled it at various parts. The audio version was like sitting with Grant on his porch as he recalls what he saw and felt during his life.
Grant's assessments are blunt, but not cruel. It was particularly interesting to get his perspective on the military strategy in the Mexican War since he offers the unique opinion of both a soldier who fought in many of its battles and of a successful Lt. General who led many more complex and consequential campaigns during the Civil War.
Grant doesn't spend a lot of time examining himself or getting too personal. For example, he doesn't address the questions raised during his life about his drinking and the narrative does not encompass his Presidency or much of his personal life. He also doesn't dwell too long on the extreme loss of life during the Overland Campaign.
If the Civil War interests you, and you haven't read this book, then you're missing a large chunk of information.
Having read Grant's memoirs many years ago, listening to the audio book gave me the chance to pick up on some new insights. Either way, his memoirs are worth knowing.
The one insight the Grant acquired was that the opposition had the same reservations that he had. However, all he needed to do was act and it would be the right thing to do.
The moment that moved me to tears of laughter was when he went around to observe the pickets. A private that he ran into was washing dishes in the creek. Grant thought nothing of it because of the blue uniform. When Grant asked the private what unit he was in, he responded that he was part of Longstreet's Corps. How Grand to able to act so cool and not let his surprise be known was so funny.
a fish. . .a gun. . .a smoking barrel. . .
How many generals have a writer's ear for prose and an artists eye for telling detail? The prose is the man, unadorned, straightforward and honest.
There are so many. Let's see: a page long justification about why he was so sloppily dressed at Appomattox (he hadn't meant to slight Lee, he notes); Lincoln's jokes; Grant's discussion of Sherman's March to the Sea (as I understood it, this was an army stranded in alien territory, performing the then revolutionary maneuver of cutting itself loose from supply lines); Grant's detailed explanation of how telegraph wires were set up at each command post.
Well, who could outshine Grant himself?
That would be one long sitting.
My husband and I listened to this memoir together with great interest. Grants's writing is easy to understand. Having maps of areas he was referring to would have been helpful but not necessary. This memoir begins with Grant's early life, covers his military service in the American-Mexican War, then continues on into his distinguished service in the Civil War. It does not cover his terms as U.S. President. The more I listened to this memoir the more my respect for this great man grew. Grant was given a job to do, that is to defeat the confederacy, and he did it in much less time than previous generals who occupied his position prior to him.
The narration of this book by Robin Field was excellent. I highly recommend this book.
You can see why Grant won the Civil War. His writing is direct and clear - which must have been essential before and during battles. The book - read by Robin Field in a clear and engaging style - shows how the childhood lessons paid dividends when Grant became a Lieutenant General and commander of the Union Armies. It also displays his humility and forgiveness. While the Confederate commanders and politicians could have been executed for treason, Grant laid a different path and helped to bind the wounds torn open by the war.
Grant's ability to remember the details if the war and his personal insights if matters that effected the men and himself are eye opening. I learned several things about our history other than the war
The detsil was somewhat overwhelming, and the story stopped with the end of the war. But I was surprised and gratified with Grant's subtle humor and dry wit. It made him all the more human. I'm glad I listened!
Famous account of Mexican and Civil Wars. Extremely detailed and frank. But nothing about author's notorious drinking, the infamous Order No, 11, or his scandal-plagued presidency. I guess 19th century memoirs were not the tell-all confessions to which we are currently accustomed.