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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Autobiography of Ulysses S. Grant

Aloha Everyone,

The 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant wrote his autobiography in 1885 when he was dying of cancer.

The two-volume set was published by his close friend, Samuel Clement (Mark Train) shortly after Grant's death. Mark Train's innovative marketing strategy to reach millions of veterans who were mourning for Grant resulted in the sale of 350,000 two-volume sets. They were priced from $3.50 to $12 depending on the binding. At that time, there was no pension for ex-presidents and Grant was penniless. Grant's widow Julia received about $450,000.

Additional note to this phenomenal success story is that Mark Twain's used the planned book tour to promote his book, "Huckleberry Finn" to help dying Grant so that his widow would be financially taken cared of.

Ulysses S. Grant's autobiography has been highly regarded by military historians, literary critics as well as the general public. His personal portrayal is that he was a military officer who led his army and the nation with honesty and straightforwardness. 

In the aftermath of a bitter, caustic and divisive 2016 Presidential campaign, it would be interesting to learn how the current and President-elect would write their own memoirs and how they would be remembered in 20 years by the general public as well as by presidential-historians.

Aloha -- Cathi