Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Micro Mention "Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant"

Ulysses S. Grant

So, soon after starting Chernow's excellent biography, I decided that I wanted to get the story of Ulysses S. Grant straight from the man himself. "The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant" are startlingly intimate and powerful, and every American should read them. 

Anyway, fun fact, the "S" in Ulysses S. Grant doesn't stand for anything. It certainly doesn't stand for Simpson, making it weird that this audiobook edition proudly displays it as his full name. How do I know this? I read Chernow's book. In fact, his name was actually Hiram Ulysses Grant, but he went by his middle name. When he was accepted to West Point, the military academy dubbed him U. S. Grant through a clerical error.

Also, of all weird things, the terrible movie "Wild Wild West" gets it right that President Grant went to West Point when Will Smith's character realizes that he's talking to Kevin Kline's character in disguise by noticing him wearing the wrong school ring. Quite a clever moment for an otherwise stupid movie. Of course, it loses all cleverness points because earlier in the scene, Kline's master of disguise character costumed as Grant offers Smith's character whiskey. Grant was incredibly sensitive about his drinking and the perception that he was an alcoholic. As president, he would have never been caught dead drinking in front of anyone in the White House.

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