The annotated memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. 1822-1885 Grant

Book - 2019

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BIOGRAPHY/Grant, Ulysses S.
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Subjects
Genres
Personal narratives
Published
New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company [2019]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
lxxiv, 1068 pages: illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781631492440
1631492446
Main Author
Ulysses S. 1822-1885 Grant (author)
Other Authors
Elizabeth D. Samet (editor)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

On the heels of John F. Marszalek's The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant comes Samet's new annotated edition, providing the same full work but with an emphasis on identifying individuals and referencing American literature. Included are intriguing and useful illustrations and maps as well as a valuable bibliography. Samet offers a helpful introduction and epilog that set soldier and U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant's writing within the context of American literature and autobiography as well as current debates on interpreting the Civil War in popular culture. The author also suggests a methodology for reading a battle, such as Shiloh, as a way to understand not only Grant's rendering of specific conflicts but also military battle writing generally. While these interpretations enhance the original memoirs, this new edition does not surpass or supplant Marszalek's edition in copiousness and utility. VERDICT Libraries that want the full complement of Grant's works will profit from Samet's edition; those who own Marszalek's still have the best to date.—Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

West Point professor Samet (Soldier's Heart) pulls off a herculean scholarly achievement in her annotation of Grant's classic autobiography. Her valuable introduction places Grant's memoirs in the autobiographical tradition that starts with the likes of Julius Caesar and has found more modern incarnations in Joan Didion and James Baldwin. She also explores Grant's literary influences, which included popular 19th-century writers like Edward Bulwer Lytton and Washington Irving and religious leader John Wesley. Footnotes add color by fleshing out individuals mentioned in passing, add context by expanding on events that Grant elides (such as an anti-Semitic order he issued in 1862), and add varied perspectives by quoting accounts of African-American soldiers (one such passage discusses the self-respect freed slaves gained in soldiering) and other generals. Samet's sources are wide-ranging, from classical writers like Herodotus to Toni Morrison (Samet quotes her description of the black experience immediately postwar, from Beloved) and Monty Python (deriding the practice of paroling enemy soldiers, who then returned to fight again, as "the kind of chivalric inanity satirized so brilliantly in Monty Python and the Holy Grail"). The end result is a very rich reading experience that highlights unexpected connections between events in the text, its historical moment, and its connections to larger cultural themes. Samet accomplishes the rare feat of creating accessible annotations that are as fascinating and enlightening as the text they are meant to enrich. (Nov.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

West Point professor Samet (Soldier's Heart) pulls off a herculean scholarly achievement in her annotation of Grant's classic autobiography. Her valuable introduction places Grant's memoirs in the autobiographical tradition that starts with the likes of Julius Caesar and has found more modern incarnations in Joan Didion and James Baldwin. She also explores Grant's literary influences, which included popular 19th-century writers like Edward Bulwer Lytton and Washington Irving and religious leader John Wesley. Footnotes add color by fleshing out individuals mentioned in passing, add context by expanding on events that Grant elides (such as an anti-Semitic order he issued in 1862), and add varied perspectives by quoting accounts of African-American soldiers (one such passage discusses the self-respect freed slaves gained in soldiering) and other generals. Samet's sources are wide-ranging, from classical writers like Herodotus to Toni Morrison (Samet quotes her description of the black experience immediately postwar, from Beloved) and Monty Python (deriding the practice of paroling enemy soldiers, who then returned to fight again, as "the kind of chivalric inanity satirized so brilliantly in Monty Python and the Holy Grail"). The end result is a very rich reading experience that highlights unexpected connections between events in the text, its historical moment, and its connections to larger cultural themes. Samet accomplishes the rare feat of creating accessible annotations that are as fascinating and enlightening as the text they are meant to enrich. (Nov.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

West Point professor Samet (Soldier's Heart) pulls off a herculean scholarly achievement in her annotation of Grant's classic autobiography. Her valuable introduction places Grant's memoirs in the autobiographical tradition that starts with the likes of Julius Caesar and has found more modern incarnations in Joan Didion and James Baldwin. She also explores Grant's literary influences, which included popular 19th-century writers like Edward Bulwer Lytton and Washington Irving and religious leader John Wesley. Footnotes add color by fleshing out individuals mentioned in passing, add context by expanding on events that Grant elides (such as an anti-Semitic order he issued in 1862), and add varied perspectives by quoting accounts of African-American soldiers (one such passage discusses the self-respect freed slaves gained in soldiering) and other generals. Samet's sources are wide-ranging, from classical writers like Herodotus to Toni Morrison (Samet quotes her description of the black experience immediately postwar, from Beloved) and Monty Python (deriding the practice of paroling enemy soldiers, who then returned to fight again, as "the kind of chivalric inanity satirized so brilliantly in Monty Python and the Holy Grail"). The end result is a very rich reading experience that highlights unexpected connections between events in the text, its historical moment, and its connections to larger cultural themes. Samet accomplishes the rare feat of creating accessible annotations that are as fascinating and enlightening as the text they are meant to enrich. (Nov.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Originally published in 1885 by Mark Twain, this newly annotated edition of General Grant's biography provides detailed historical and cultural contexts to create a more vivid picture of the Civil War era.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Presents an expanded annotated edition of Grant's memoir, examining the historical and cultural context of the time period and the transformation of Grant, from his humble childhood to his status as a great military leader and president of the United States.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

One hundred and thirty-three years after its 1885 publication by Mark Twain, Elizabeth Samet has annotated this lavish edition of Grant’s landmark memoir, and expands the Civil War backdrop against which this monumental American life is typically read. No previous edition combines such a sweep of historical and cultural contexts with the literary authority that Samet, an English professor obsessed with Grant for decades, brings to the table.Whether exploring novels Grant read at West Point or presenting majestic images culled from archives, Samet curates a richly annotated, highly collectible edition that will fascinate Civil War buffs. The edition also breaks new ground in its attack on the “Lost Cause” revisionism that still distorts our national conversation about the legacy of the Civil War. Never has Grant’s transformation from tanner’s son to military leader been more insightfully and passionately explained than in this timely edition, appearing on the 150th anniversary of Grant’s 1868 presidential election.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

With kaleidoscopic, trenchant, path-breaking insights, Elizabeth D. Samet has produced the most ambitious edition of Ulysses Grant’s Memoirs yet published.