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Mr. Polk's Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War Hardcover – June, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press; 1st edition (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890967547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890967546
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

RICHARD BRUCE WINDERS received his Ph.D in history from Texas Christian University in 1994. He is the assistant editor of the Encyclopedia of the Mexican War as well as historian and curator of the Alamo.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By peloncillojack on January 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I usually wouldn't comment on my own work but one of the reviewers on Amazon totally missed the point of this work. True, Mr. Polk's Army this is not a book that describes the war's battles. There were plenty of those books out there that already and even more have appeared since I wrote Mr. Polk's Army ten years ago. My book was intended as a description of the American forces that participated in the war. As such it places these men in the context of their time. That was the book's purpose as stated in the preface. It is gratifying to know that Mr. Polk's Army is recognized by historians as a key work in the field of Mexican War Studies.

Richard Bruce Winders

Richard Bruce Winders
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Historian Richard Winder's Polk's Army is a closely detailed, meticulously researched, scholarly and engaging presentation of the daily life of American soldiers who fought in the Mexican War, drawn from a vast amalgamation of diaries, journals, and reminiscences. Polk's Army goes further to connect the army to the society from which it was drawn, and portrays a military undertaking that was a unilaterally shared experience for all ranks and walks of American soldiers, despite their differences in background or politics. Illustrated with some black-and-white historical photographs and drawings, Polk's Army is a superb, in-depth reference for anyone with a vested interest in learning more about a war that forever changed the physical shape and political future of the United States of America.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By AP Teacher on December 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mr. Polk's Army is a detailed sketch of the U.S. Army that was built for and that fought in the U.S.-Mexican War. The author has gone to great effort to explain how the officers, regular army soldiers, and the volunteer soldiers differed as to their dress, habits, and attitudes about the war.

Winders has also included a discussion of the politics that were in play between President Polk and his democratic party, as well as the unfriendly/untrusting relationship polk had with his generals in the field.

This book is excellent if you are looking for something that does not solely focus on strategy and battle outcomes. Winders has created a excellent and unique account of the U.S.-Mexican War.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles Lewis on March 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
The US-Mexican war is perhaps one of the most forgotten chapters in American Military History. While numerous books and documentaries have been written or produced about the conflict, the Mexican War escapes our collective popular memory, despite the fact that it is one of the most critical moments in our history. Dr. Winders has made a valuable contribution to the literature of that stuggle, by writing a book that focuses on the US forces engaged in the war. While there are several very good books that cover the battles, the politics, and the other "big-picture" aspects of the Mexican War, Dr. Winders' volume is one of the few books that examines the Army and the men that marched into Mexico. This book should be on the shelf of every military buff and is also a must read for anyone who wishes to examine the Mexican War seriously.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blaine L. Bachman on February 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
As one who occasionally participates in living history reenactments, I am always on the lookout for new information that will lead to an increasingly accurate portrayal of a U.S. infantryman during the U.S.-Mexican War period. On multiple occasions, a web search has led me to Google Book excerpts from Richard Bruce Winders' Mr, Polk's Army:.... Ultimately, this 'teasing' had the desired effect and I enthusiastically added the book to my reading list.

First of all, it's crucial to note that this is NOT a blow-by-blow account of the strategies and battles of the war itself. Rather, Winders' writing serves to acquaint us with pertinent details of being American in the 1840s, sharing with us a perspective that casts political ambition, standing armies, and Manifest Destiny in a different light than we so-called modern, enlightened folk may be used to. Like a method actor, I find that comprehending an historical figure's motivations and the environment in which he or she moved leads to a greater understanding of the events. Winders skillfully builds a hierarchy of "whats" and associated "whys" that encourage the reader to walk a mile in 19th Century brogans and draw his or her own conclusions.

I cannot speak too highly of the text's organization: each chapter addresses a different aspect of 1840s America, allowing the reader to approach the overall topic from one of several angles. Obviously, this construct also makes it easy to use the book as a study reference, nevertheless, the structure does not interfere with a cover-to-cover reading. Much of what Winders wrote about the political climate has been addressed before and I don't recall any genuine surprises there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By davetucaz on December 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A bit on the dry side. Excellent commentary and analysis of the economics and politics of the era. Worth the read.
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