A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.
Grant was something rare in that or any war. He could learn from experience.
I think making mistakes and discovering them for yourself is of great value, but to have someone else to point out your mistakes is a shortcut of the process.
I think that everything you do helps you to write if you're a writer. Adversity and success both contribute largely to making you what you are. If you don't experience either one of those, you're being deprived of something.
I abhor the idea of a perfect world. It would bore me to tears.
But the same thing was true in the army. You slept in a barracks with all kinds of people of every nationality, every trade, every character and quality you can imagine, and that was a good experience.
I prize the Depression, for instance, because I learned the value of things in the Depression that a way people who don't have to worry about such things never learned to prize it really, I believe.
People make a grievous error thinking that a list of facts is the truth. Facts are just the bare bones out of which truth is made.
And I'm a slow writer: five, six hundred words is a good day. That's the reason it took me 20 years to write those million and a half words of the Civil War.
I'm crazy about Grant: his character, his nature, his science in fighting and everything else. But I don't like the idea that he never accepted the blame for anything, always found someone else to blame for any mistake that was ever made, including blaming Prentiss for Shiloh.
Getting close to books, and spending time by myself, I was obliged to think about things I would never have thought about if I was busy romping around with a brother and sister.
Longevity conquers scandal every time.
When you grow up in a totally segregated society, where everybody around you believes that segregation is proper, you have a hard time. You can't believe how much it's a part of your thinking.
Of all the passions of mankind, the love of novelty most rules the mind. In search of this, from realm to realm we roam. Our fleets come loaded with every folly home.
My second book, Follow Me Down had some success, got good critical notices, went into a second printing and things like that, but Shiloh was by far the most successful of those first five novels.