According to many historians, Ulysses S. Grant’s accomplishments as the 18th president of the United States were surpassed by his deeds as a Civil War general and a writer. In The Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant: Part One: The Early Years, West Point, Mexico Grant’s literary gifts are displayed as he speaks about his military campaigns.
First published in 1885, this book covers Grant’s childhood and military training. Many listeners will take greater interest in passages on the Civil War. Grant writes about these military campaigns with eye-opening detail and offers his insights on contemporaries like Abraham Lincoln and General Sherman.
With a deep, resonant voice reminiscent of a newscaster, Peter Johnson intones Grant’s words with authority.
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States and commander of the Union forces in the Civil War, tells the story of his life in his own words. In this opening volume, Grant covers his early years, including his time at the U.S. military academy at West Point and his service during the Mexican War under Zachary Taylor. Grant wrote his memoirs in order to rescue his family from debt and they were published as he lay dying of throat cancer. Today, they are an American classic.
Public Domain (P)1999 Recorded Books, Inc.
"No American president has told his story as powerfully as Ulysses S. Grant." (William S. McFeely, historian)
The memoirs (all three parts) increased my respect for Grant, who emerges in his memoirs as a man of exceptional honesty, intelligence, and genuine concern for his fellow humans. It makes me feel good about my country to learn how much Grant despised slavery while he always shows respect where respect is due, even for his opponents. As for the reading, it was well done, but somehow I missed the tone of Grant's own voice. I guess I would like an Illinois voice (being a fellow Illinoisian) or even a Mark Twain voice rather than the very cultivated voice of this reader.
Not professional in terms of writing style but excellent in getting a glimpse of the person writing... simple - straight forward - matter of fact. This must have been the style of a humble yet successful general.
Grant's memoirs are considered the most readable, concise and approachable war memoirs ever published in any era. I'm finding this to be true. His language is surprisingly modern, and Grant has a habit of reminding you who people are when they are re-introduced several pages later -- it makes the overall feel of the book one of a narrative rather than a history.
The narrator, though somewhat bland, suits his source material rather well, and doesn't distract much from the book.
I'm disappointed that they've broken up Grant's memoirs into three separate audiobooks, but I can live with that thanks to my subscription. If you want excruciating detail about the Civil War, buy Foote's histories. For a broader overview of Grant's war, with the perspective of the commanding General, read these memoirs.
I will have to confess to a rather pronounced lack of interest in our history until I recently read John Adams by McCaullegh, which left me with a remarkable interest in the founding of our nation. I was then led to the Eminent Lives collection with short histories on Jefferson, Washington and Grant. I would never have put Grant with those two and had little interest in Grant. However, I found Grant absolutely fascinating, and thus my interest in this volume in which Grant recites so much about what was going on in the USA at the time of the Mexican War and his exploits in that war. I am now proceeding into Grant's second volume, which I expect to be even more exciting than the first.
With few words his message was clear and concise. Love the books on the presidents as my American History knowledge is gaining with every book I listen to.
I'm really enjoying part 1. The writer is so unassuming, so down to earth. You'd think he was part of the "slacker" generation who just "happened into success." The reality is that Grant was least likely to succeed. His stories about the Mexican war, and the politics behind it give a better 1st person narrative of the times than current history books on the same period. I really liked the guy as I listen, and the narrator is pretty easy to listen to also. Proved the old adage that providence plays a part in the affairs of life.
Yes, who better to write a book about the Civil War than Grant. I Recommend all three volumes of his book.
The narration was done very well in this book. It was like listening to U.S Grant himself tell you his story. This is a long book and it tended to drag at times as he went into dry detail about large Civil War Campaigns and Battles.
I had high hopes for this book. Grant was a major figure in US history. I listened to both part 1 and part 2 and it never developed into anything interesting. Both parts were just a travelogue of daily activity. The books were almost completely devoid of personal insight and reflection that would give me a deeper understanding of what made the man tick. There were several funny and interesting stories, but 90% of the book was about troop movements and small skirmishes. My opinion is that unless you are really into military history, you will find this book rather uneventful. Check out "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" if you have not already read it - far more interesting and entertaining.
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