Grant is a very personable writer with a wonderfully wry and sometimes very dry wit. In his Memoirs, written for the purpose of saving his family from destitution while he was dying of throat cancer, he offers insightful glimpses into the personalities of many of the leaders of the Civil War, North and South - both great and little known - with whom he was acquainted. His descriptions of campaigns, the attendant logistics, successes and failures are not only concise, but designed to give a clear picture of his thinking both before, during and after each battle or campaign.
A modest man, Grant does not take full credit for his great successes. He also offers up amusing annecdotes which do not always put him in the best light. Most importantly, he speaks to the reader directly and with surprising honesty. It is no wonder after reading this book that it became an instant bestseller in its day and did indeed save his family from a life of poverty after his death.