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Grant also signed meaningful social rights legislation like the Ku Klux Force Bill that allowed federal resources to help suppress the Klan and uphold African American voting rights. He rallied to write his memoirs, and in doing so, produced a classic history of the war, ensuring an already indispensable place in U. Charles C.

Grant is the only comprehensive study of the Grant administration to be published since the s. Rather, they approved of his first-term achievements in securing financial reform, encouraging a surging economy, promoting humane changes in Indian policy, stabilizing Reconstruction policy, and notching foreign policy triumphs. These accomplishments were aided by the wise guidance of Cabinet members such as Hamilton Fish, George S.

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Boutwell, and Amos Ackerman. He was inaugurated on March 4, , winning 26 states while his Democratic Party opponent Horatio Seymour carried only eight. Missouri History Museum. The unfolding chapters depict a military hero who became a skilled politician. He lobbied for his agenda, twisted arms, wielded patronage, promoted policies, and shrewdly enlisted supporters in Congress. He did so in an atmosphere of vicious, sustained, and shocking attacks by members of his own party led by an unhinged Charles Sumner.

Emboldened Democrats launched numerous politically motivated investigations with the goal of destroying the administration.

Finally, the best place to start a study of Grant can be found in the annotated edition of The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Ulysses S. Grant was the general who saved the Union and the steadfast president who made sure it stayed together. He is surely deserving of a renewed appreciation from the current generation.

Personal Memoirs: (A Modern Library E-Book) - Ulysses S. Grant - Google Books

Grant finished his remarkable memoirs on July 20, , three days before his painful death. Mark Twain had helped his friend find a publisher, and in , the initial printing of , two octavo-sized volumes were sold only by subscription. The narrative has the directness and limpidity of the purest English prose as it was first crafted by William Tyndell and then spread throughout the English-speaking world in the King James version of the Bible. Grant had reached deep into himself and into the world history of the Anglo-American people to grasp the core of its culture, the English language.

Ron Chernow on impact of President Ulysses S. Grant

He trusted in that narrative style that achieves its effects by never straining for effect, assembled it into vivid pictures sufficiently understated to allow an intelligent reader's imagination room to expand, and shaped a literary architecture with a born artist's eye.

His recollections were inevitably partial and selective. As with all memoirs, Grant's was at its best as a revelation of the way he remembered the events of his tumultuous life and the feelings they evoked in him as death drew near. Its truth was less in the details of what he recalled as in the story he had to tell, of justice triumphant over a great evil.

30 Great Books about Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee

On July 23, , several days after correcting the galley proofs of his book, Grant died in a summer cottage on the slopes of Mount McGregor, New York, surrounded by friends and family. The memoirs, published a few months later, have never been out of print. Grant Limited preview - His family, he proudly declared, had been American 'for generations, in all its branches, direct and collateral. A taciturn, solitary child who loved horses, Grant received a rudimentary education at local subscription schools.

But he excelled in mathematics and engineering, graduating with an overall academic standing that placed him in the middle of the class of Commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the 4th Infantry Regiment, Grant reported to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, then the largest army base west of the Mississippi. He fought under General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War of , serving with many officers he would later command or fight against during the Civil War. Upon returning home in he married Julie Dent, the sister of a West Point classmate.

Grant spent the next six years assigned to routine garrison duty in a succession of dreary military posts and began drinking heavily. He resigned from the army in with the rank of captain and went back to Missouri to seek employment. He failed miserably at several different occupations and finally ended up working as a clerk in his father's leather-goods store in Galena, Illinois.

With the outbreak of the Civil War in , Grant re-entered the service as a colonel in the Illinois volunteer regiment and was soon appointed brigadier general. After leading expeditions that seized Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, the first major Union victories in the war, he commanded forces at the battle of Shiloh and later broke Confederate control of the Mississippi by capturing Vicksburg. President Lincoln promoted him to lieutenant general and named him commander of the Union army following the success of the pivotal Chattanooga campaign. The appointment seemed to support Grant's own assertion that 'it is men who wait to be selected, and not those who seek, from whom we may always expect the most efficient service.

In the Republican Party nominated the popular war hero as their presidential candidate, and Grant was elected with a narrow victory in the popular vote. Lacking an overall vision for the country, he proved ineffective as president while his cabinet of cronies and political contributors was both incompetent and corrupt. As Grant later confessed: 'I did not want the Presidency, and I have never quite forgiven myself for resigning the command of the army to accept it.

A contemporary, the skeptical patrician Henry Adams, delivered a stinging indictment of Grant and Gilded Age politics that has become justly famous: 'The progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant, was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin.


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After a failed bid for a third term as president, Grant settled in New York City, where he became associated with an investment firm only to be swindled by his partner and left financially ruined. In he began to write reminiscences of his military campaigns for the Century Magazine.

Though suffering from cancer of the throat, Grant signed a contract with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs and devoted the last months of his life to writing an account of the war in which he had played so large a part. Grant died in Mount McGregor, New York, a summer resort in the Adirondacks, on July 23, , less than one week after finishing work on the final proofs of Personal Memoirs.