Porter's portrait of Grant is the most comprehensive first-hand account that we have. We see Grant as a soldier and hear in his own words the tactical evaluations that led to many of the war's key decisions. We also hear of Grant's dealings with Lincoln, of the close relationship between Sherman and Grant, and of Lee's noble bearing at his surrender. This is a stirring account of our country's most memorable conflict.
The subject matter and flow of the book is good. It seems well researched compared to other works in the same vein. My problems was that the narrator is trying to read very fast, and for me it just doesn't work.
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This book covers primarily Grant's later military career, i.e.,the period of his 1864 Overland Campaign to the end of the Civil War. It shows all the marks of a book published in 1897 in that the language is a bit stilted for modern readers to completely enjoy. It also suffers from having been written by a hero-worshiping member of Grant's staff who tends to smooth over any weaknesses or failures that a modern historian would point out. Porter's coverage of Grant's performance at Cold Harbor is especially suspect.
The reader, Noah Waterman does a nice job for the most part with a good, flat Midwestern accent but does have some understandable difficulty with certain southern river names such as Totopotomoy and Mattaponi.
Additionally, he read the work rather rapidly for my tastes.