General Grant and the Rewriting of History

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6:00 pm

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In 1885, a former president of the United States published one of the most influential books ever written about the Civil War. The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant may be superbly written, Frank P. Varney persuasively argues in his new book, General Grant and the Rewriting of History, but is so riddled with flaws as to be unreliable.

Using primary source documents, some of them published here for the first time, Frank Varney sheds new light on what really happened on some of the most important battlefields of the Civil War. He has found evidence that Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs, although an important source, contain not only misstatements but also some outright inventions. Grant made use of them to manipulate the historical record, and he went further than that. He submitted highly slanted reports, he falsified official documents, and he perjured himself before an army court of inquiry. There is also strong evidence that his often-discussed drinking problem affected the outcome of at least one battle. He ruined the reputation of more than one man; it is time to set the record straight.

Frank Varney earned his undergraduate degree at William Paterson University and his MA and Ph.D. at Cornell University. He is a Professor of US and Classical History at Dickinson State University of North Dakota, where he has been the recipient of the  Outstanding Faculty Member Award (voted by students) and of the Distinguished Professor Award. He regularly takes student groups to historic sites - especially Civil War battlefields - and makes frequent speaking appearances before Civil War roundtables, historical societies, and other interested groups; he has also been the keynote speaker at several veterans' memorial dedications, and has made numerous radio and TV appearances. 

6:00pm reception; 6:30pm lecture, gratis. Advanced registrations required.

Members and one guest per member are invited to dine at The Club with the speaker following the lecture. Please click here to access the post program dinner registration page.