Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brief Book Review: Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

The Library of America series has an incredible book that is the memoirs of U.S. Grant. They selected it as it documents Grant's time between his studies at West Point to the Mexican-American War and ending in the Civil War. All fo it is written from the perspective of a dying president, looking back on his life and country. There are maybe 100 snippets of this book that history teachers could have students read in junior high or high school that would impress students. The humility of Grant shines in this book in a way that no modern politician ever would display. His love of the Union was evident. He despised the Northern press for glorifying all Southern wins and downplaying any good Northern moves (sound familiar?). He found the 'copperheads' weak, and wrote a rather illuminating thing about the anti-war northerners. He wrote that the best they could hope for is their story is sent into oblivion. Thanks to those who teach history, that has been the case. This is a fantastic book of details. Amongst all of those details is the deep theme of the change in America from an agrarian, salvery is ok nation of regionalism and gallantry in war to the unified country of mechanized war with freedom for all.

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