Saturday, October 4, 2008

October 9: US Grant After the War, Part 2 by Richard DeTar

This past February Richard DeTar gave a presentation on Grant's life after the war. The presentation went a tad long and had not reached its end. So this month Richard will complete his original presentation.

After the war Grant used his popularity to become President. It was not something he didn’t initially seek but once in office he seemed to enjoy it, as he served two terms and nearly ran for a third. His presidency was marked with scandal but that was mostly because the men who served under him were not trustworthy, there is no indication that Grant was a “dirty” President. He simply made bad choices in the men he delegated power too. He also became bankrupt again as he trusted the wrong men to take care of his personal fortune.

Grant wrote the memoirs so that his family would not be poor. He wrote them with the aid of Samuel Clemens and neither man probably realized the full financial windfall Grant’s family would receive from them, approximately $450,000 in 1885. Some even consider Grant’s memoirs to be a literary masterpiece.

If time allots Richard has also suggested using the extra time to discuss Civil War novelties. Basically anything you've found odd or wanted some clarification on. We can use this time to probe the minds of our esteemed membership.

Richard recommends the following books:
Adams, James Truslow. The March of Democracy. Chapters 3-5.
Wilson, Edmund. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War. Chapter 4
Grant, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant.

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