SHAKESPEARE AND ULYSSES GRANT. Ta-Nehisi Coates says that the manuscript evidence that Grant wrote his memoirs means a lot to him. He says: “The beautiful thing about writing is it has no real respect for credentialism.” “Credentialism” is a good name for the belief that great writing can only be done by certain classes of people. Of course, I apply the term to the false claim that a commoner like Shakespeare could not have written Shakespeare’s plays—a view that I have argued against in one post after another (for example, here). Coates concludes eloquently: “But the fact that the best writing of the Civil War came from a frontiersman like Lincoln and middling West Point student like Grant is powerful. We should let it be true.”

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