"One of the most unflinching studies of war in our literature." --William McFeeley
Among the autobiographies of great military figures, Ulysses S. Grant's is certainly one of the finest, and it is arguably the most notable literary achievement of any American president: a lucid, compelling, and brutally honest chronicle of triumph and failure. From his frontier boyhood to his heroics in battle to the grinding poverty from which the Civil War ironically "rescued" him, these memoirs are a mesmerizing, deeply moving account of a brilliant man, told with great courage as he reflects on the fortunes that shaped his life and his character. Written under excruciating circumstances (as Grant was dying of throat cancer), encouraged and edited from its very inception by Mark Twain, it is a triumph of the art of autobiography.
The books in the Modern Library War series have been chosen by series editor Caleb Carr according to the significance of their subject matter, their contribution to the field of military history, and their literary merit.
First elected President in 1869, Grant's two presidential terms focused on reconstruction, further stabilizing the nation socially, politically, and economically following the end of the Civil War. His government successfully passed the Fifteenth Amendment, protecting voting rights for Africa-American citizens, pursued an Indian peace policy and created the Board of Indian Commissioners, and shut down the Whiskey Ring, recovering over $3 million in embezzled federal taxes. Grant died of cancer in 1885 and is interred at New York's Riverside Park in Grant's Tomb.
"The best [memoirs] of any general's since Caesar." --Mark Twain
"A unique expression of the national character....[Grant] has conveyed the suspense which was felt by himself and his army and by all who believed in the Union cause. The reader finds himself...on edge toknow how the Civil War is coming out." --Edmund Wilson