11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
An Unexpected Masterpiece,
By A Customer
This review is from: Personal Memoirs of U.S.Grant (Paperback)
This book probably tells more about Grant than any biography. In fact, none of his biographers seem to be able to do him justice. Grant's personal diffidence may have played some part in this. The clarity of expression and lean, strong use of the language tells us much about the type of man that Grant was. Grant seems to be an ordinary man who took advantage of his opportunities and whose guiding principal was perseverance and more perseverance. In fact, many of us are drawn to him because he seems to have been so ordinary, not regal, aristocratic, handsome, imposing. He had many problems that are common, business failures and alcoholism. Yet Grant finally got a real chance and took advantage of it. He was not without his moments of brilliance. The Vicksburg campaign was marvelous strategy. The relief of Chattanooga was complex and brilliantly executed. His final move against Petersburg and the railroads, trapping Lee's army, was solid and, in the final analysis, effective. Grant is still something of an enigma. These memoirs do not solve that, but contribute to our understanding of this great figure in our history. After having studied much literature about him, I find myself drawn to this plain spoken, hard working man, much more so than Lee or Jackson. Some of Grant's character shows here. It helps if you have read a great deal of civil war history prior to picking this up. Bruce Catton's books on Grant and on the Army of the Potomac would be a good place to start.