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The Modern Library Civil War Bookshelf: 5-Book Bundle

by Jefferson Davis Harriet Beecher Stowe Stephen Crane Ulysses S. Grant Abraham Lincoln

Like no other event in our history, the Civil War divided the nation, redrew our notions of freedom and citizenship, and provided the backdrop for some of the most enduring works in the American literary canon. This Modern Library eBook bundle collects five titles that illuminate that transformative conflict: Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, the classic novels Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Red Badge of Courage, The Essential Writings of Jefferson Davis, and The Life and Writings of Abraham Lincoln. PERSONAL MEMOIRS OF ULYSSES S. GRANT The memoirs of the legendary Union general chart the fortunes that shaped his life and character--from his frontier boyhood to his heroics in battle to the grinding poverty from which the Civil War "rescued" him. Among autobiographies of great military figures, Grant's is considered one of the finest. UNCLE TOM'S CABIN Abraham Lincoln called Uncle Tom's Cabin "the book that made this great war." Langston Hughes called it "a moral battle cry." Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic novel offers a shockingly realistic depiction of slavery and a portrait of human dignity in the most inhumane circumstances. THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE One of the greatest works of American literature, The Red Badge of Courage gazes fearlessly into the bright hell of war through the eyes of one young soldier, the reluctant Henry Fleming. Stephen Crane's novel imagines the Civil War's terror and loss with an unblinking vision so modern and revolutionary that critics hailed it as a work of literary genius. JEFFERSON DAVIS: THE ESSENTIAL WRITINGS The Confederate president is one of the most complex and controversial figures in American political history. Editor William J. Cooper combs through the authoritative Papers of Jefferson Davis for this selection of letters, major speeches, and public and private writings. Collectively, they present a multifaceted portrait of a man who continues to fascinate scholars and Civil War buffs alike. THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN The greatest of all American presidents left us a vast legacy of writings, some of which are among the most famous in our history. From the plainspoken eloquence of the Gettysburg Address to the soaring rhetoric of his Second Inaugural, this marvelous volume serves as a guide to Lincoln's life through his speeches, letters, and public remarks.

Personal Memoirs

by Ulysses S. Grant

Mark Twain had known many of the great men of the Civil War and the Gilded Age, and esteemed none more highly than Ulysses S. Grant, who was modest, sensitive, generous, honest, and superlatively intelligent. Grant's courage, both moral and physical, was a matter of record. His genius as a general assured his immortality. In 1881, Twain urged Grant to write his memoirs. No one is interested in me, Grant replied. Out of the army, out of office, and out of favor--that was his life now. He reminded Twain that the Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, written by his wartime assistant, Adam Badeau, had sold poorly. And John Russell Young's book, Around the World with General Grant, published in 1879, had been a complete flop. Broke and sick--he began suffering agonizingly painful throat cancer in 1884-- Grant agreed to write four articles for the Century Magazine on some of his Civil War battles, and Century offered to publish his memoirs if only he'd write them. Twain was on a lecture tour when he heard that Grant might be willing to write a book and hurried back to New York to tell Grant that he could arrange for publication of the book by a small firm that he controlled. Grant accepted his offer because Twain had been the first person to suggest he write his memoirs. The inflexible will and powerful mind that helped make Grant a great general were stronger than the torturing pain, the sleepless nights, the terrors of death. Yet there was no sense of this heroic struggle in the narrative he produced with stubby pencils or by dictating to a secretary. The book was like the man himself--often humorous, frequently charming, always lucid, sometimes poignant, generous to his enemies, loyal to his friends. Twain was astonished when he discovered that Grant had produced a considerably longer book than he had contracted to write, but Grant had always tried to give more than was expected of him. He did so even now. Grant finished his book in July 1885. The Memoirs were a triumph. 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. 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. On July 23, 1885, 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.

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