Suggested Reading List
The Civil War in Missouri: A Military History (SHADES OF BLUE & GRAY)
Author: Louis S. Gerteis
Description: Guerrilla warfare, border fights, and unorganized skirmishes are all too often the only battles associated with Missouri during the Civil War. Combined with the states distance from both sides capitals, this misguided impression paints Missouri as an insignificant player in the nations struggle to define itself. Such notions, however, are far from an accurate picture of the Midwest states contributions to the wars outcome. Though traditionally cast in a peripheral role, the conventional warfare of Missouri was integral in the Civil Wars development and ultimate conclusion. The strategic battles fought by organized armies are often lost amidst the stories of guerrilla tactics and bloody combat, but in The Civil War in Missouri, Louis S. Gerteis explores the states conventional warfare and its effects on the unfolding of national history.
Guerrillas in Civil War Missouri
Author: James W. Erwin
Description: During the Civil War, Missouri was in constant turmoil from raids by heavily armed bands of marauders loosely affiliated with the Confederate army. Federal troops fought more than one thousand battles in Missouri--mostly with guerrillas. But these numbers mask the level of violence because they do not include attacks on civilians. Ordinary persons felt the dread of uncertainty when riders approached their homes. Were they Union soldiers or guerrillas in blue coats taken off soldiers they had ambushed? Sometimes it did not matter. Entire counties were given up to destruction because both sides were willing to turn to guns and torches if their demands for supplies and information were not met.
Ulysses S. Grant Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
Author: An Intro & Notes by: James Mc Pherson
Description: Faced with failing health and financial ruin, the Civil War's greatest general and former president wrote his personal memoirs to secure his family's future - and won himself a unique place in American letters.
Devoted almost entirely to his life as a soldier, Grant's Memoirs traces the trajectory of his extraordinary career - from West Point cadet to general-in-chief of all Union armies. For their directness and clarity, his writings on war are without rival in American literature, and his autobiography deserves a place among the very best in the genre.
This Penguin Classics edition of Grants Personal Memoirs includes an indispensable introduction and explanatory notes by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson.
Author: Jean Edward Smith
Description: Ulysses S. Grant was the first four-star general in the history of the United States Army and the only president between Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson to serve eight consecutive years in the White House. As general in chief, Grant revolutionized modern warfare. As president, he brought stability to the country after years of war and upheaval. Yet today Grant is remembered as a brilliant general but a failed president.
In this comprehensive biography, Jean Edward Smith reconciles these conflicting assessments of Grant's life. He argues convincingly that Grant is greatly underrated as a president. Following the turmoil of Andrew Johnson's administration, Grant guided the nation through the post-Civil War era, overseeing Reconstruction in the South and enforcing the freedoms of new African-American citizens. His presidential accomplishments were as considerable as his military victories, says Smith, for the same strength of character that made him successful on the battlefield also characterized his years in the White House.
Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant
Author: Edited by: John Y. Simon
Description: Julia Dent Grant wrote her reminiscences with the vivacity and charm she exhibited throughout her life, telling her story in the easy flow of an afternoon conversation with a close friend. Mrs. Grant was raised the pampered daughter of a Missouri planter, and she later remembered her girlhood as an idyll that she wished could have lasted.
Many of the anecdotes she relates give fascinating glimpses into a very troubled period of American history. A dramatic reminiscence recounts the night that Lincoln was assassinated. Mrs. Grant insisted that she and her husband turn down an invitation to the theater in favor of returning home. It saved her husbands life: he had also been marked for assassination.
Throughout these memoirs, which she ends with her husbands death, Mrs. Grant strives to correct the misconceptions she believed were being circulated about him. She wanted posterity to share her pride in this man, whom she saw as one of America's greatest heroes.
Author: Stephen Ambrose
Description: Ambrose follows the Lewis and Clark Expedition from Thomas Jefferson's hope of finding a waterway to the Pacific, through the heart-stopping moments of the actual trip, to Lewis's lonely demise on the Natchez Trace. Along the way, Ambrose shows us the American West as Lewis saw it -- wild, awesome, and pristine beautiful. Undaunted Courage is a stunningly told action tale that will delight readers for generations.
The Lewis and Clark Journals
Author: Gary Moulton
Description: Following orders from President Thomas Jefferson, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out from their wintering camp in Illinois in 1804 to search for a river passage to the Pacific Ocean. In this riveting account, editor Gary E. Moulton blends the narrative highlights of the Lewis and Clark journals so that the voices of the enlisted men and of Native peoples are heard alongside the words of the captains.
All their triumphs and terrors are herethe thrill of seeing the vast herds of bison on the plains; the tensions and admiration in the first meetings with Indian peoples; Lewis's rapture at the stunning beauty of the Great Falls; the fear the captains felt when a devastating illness befell their Shoshone interpreter, Sacagawea; the ordeal of crossing the Continental Divide; the kidnapping and rescuing of Lewiss dog, Seaman; miserable days of cold and hunger; and Clark's joy at seeing the Pacific. The cultural differences between the corps and Native Americans make for living drama that at times provokes laughter but more often is poignant and, at least once, tragic.
Autobiography of Mark Twain
Author: Charles Neider
Description: Mark Twain was a figure larger than fife: massive in talent, eruptive in temperament, unpredictable in his actions. He crafted stories of heroism, adventure, tragedy, and comedy that reflected the changing America of the time, and he tells his own story--which includes sixteen pages of photos--with the same flair he brought to his fiction. Writing this autobiography on his deathbed, Twain vowed to he "free and frank and unembarrassed" in the recounting of his life and his experiences.
Twain was more than a match for the expanding America of riverboats, gold rushes, and the vast westward movement, which provided the material for his novels and which served to inspire this beloved and uniquely American autobiography.
Mark and Livy: The Love Story of Mark Twain and the Woman Who Almost Tamed Him
Author: Resa Willis
Description: Olivia Langdon Clemens was not only the love of Mark Twain's life and the mother of his children, she was also his editor, muse, critic and trusted advisor. She read his letters and speeches. He relied on her judgment on his writing, and readily admitted that she not only edited his work, but also edited his public persona. Until now, little has been known about Livy's crucial place in Twain's life. In Resa Willis's affecting and fascinating biography, we meet a dignified, optimistic women who married young, raised three sons and a daughter, endured myriad health problems and money woes and who faithfully traipsed all over the world with Twain--Africa, Europe, Asia--while battling his moodiness and her frailty. Twain adored her. A hard-drinking dreamer with an insatiable wanderlust, he needed someone to tame him. It was Livy who encouraged him to finish his autobiography even through the last stages of her illness. When she died in 1904, Twain's zest for life and writing was gone. He died six years later. A triumph of the biographer's art, Mark and Livy presents the fullest picture yet of one of the most influential women in American letters.