A longtime administrator in the field of higher education, Andrew Scoblionko has a passion for Civil War history and enjoys travel to sites of cultural and historical interest relating to the war. Andrew Scoblionko considers The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant as among his favorite works of nonfiction. In writing this book, Grant did not focus on his less-than-stellar years in the presidency, but on his years of military service and leadership. During the 1860s, Grant doggedly led the Union Army to victory in a protracted war that took a terrible human toll.
The book quickly dispenses with Grant’s ancestry, boyhood, and years in the West Point Military Academy and moves onto a detailed account of the Mexican War. Grant’s observations of this conflict are considered among the best first-person accounts ever written. Grant makes particularly astute observations on expansionist U.S. policies and the divisive issues involved in slavery at the time. Grant then moves onto a detailed, vivid account of the Civil War that helps readers understand the strategic and personal considerations that informed his decisions throughout the conflict.