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The Presidency of James K. Polk (American Presidency (Univ of Kansas Hardcover)) Hardcover – May 29, 1987
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Bergeron's book is a good academic telling of this most significant of times. Arranged by major topic, his biography covers the crisis with Mexico and the war; the crisis with Great Britain over setting the boundary of the Pacific Northwest; the cabinet members Polk chose and worked with (significant because at the time the precedent was for presidents to govern with and through their cabinets; giving secretaries much greater veto power over issues in their sphere than now exists), his relationship with Congress and his emergence as a politician.
Polk's fascinating political personae as well as the personalities he had to deal with are well described. Particularly on the Texas question, the war with Mexico and the negotiations with Great Britain, the reader is given a very good step-by-step picture of the cabinet debates and perspectives surrounding the president's eventual courses of action. I came away feeling the author had researched the topics thoroughly enough to present a fairly complete picture of all three crises; allowing the reader an enjoyable bird's-eye view as the action unfolded. The details of life as a mid-1800's American president are also told.Read more ›
Particularly fascinating in it is the hilarious story of the negotiation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gave us California et al. It proves the Mark Twain saying that God protects fools, drunkards and the United States of America.