The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
By John F. Marszalek, Ulysses S. Grant
Why this book?
I was urged to write my memoir by a Random House editor, Owen Lock, who shepherded combat veterans of Vietnam to tell their stories through a series of books. He remarked that no army combat photographer had ever written about the experience. A combat photographer’s mission, “Document the War”, leads to the obvious conclusion. My platoon and I photographed land and sea, army, navy, and air force as it unfolded. We were never short of subjects.” Once I retired, living in northern woods near Lake Placid, I had the time to write but not the know-how. I turned to a man I had followed throughout my year at the Army War College, Ulysses S. Grant. My story was nothing like his, no one could be, but I liked the way he revealed his incredible experiences. A plain speaker, he was equally a plain and direct writer. That’s what I hoped to emulate in the smallest of ways. So, with the story of a great soldier in the back of my mind, I put down my story, ‘Why A Soldier’. I am most gratified to note that it is still selling after twenty years.
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