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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Pre-packed in bubble wrap to ensure its "Very Good" condition upon arrival. ~ 1999: First Bison Edition: 3rd printing: Softcover: Very good condition: has bumped corners, soiling on the bottom edge (nothing gross), the spine is uncreased and the binding is tight, the book is unmarked by highlighting/underlining and notes.
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The Mexican War, 1846-1848 Paperback – November 1, 1992


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The War That Forged a Nation
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson looks anew at the reasons America's civil war has remained a subject of intense interest for the past century and a half. Learn more
$20.37 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

K. Jack Bauer was also the author of Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest (1985) and Other Works. Robert W. Johannsen, who introduces this Bison Books edition of The Mexican War, is a professor of history at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and the author of To the Halls of Montezumas: The Mexican War in the American Imagination (1985).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books; Reprint edition (November 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803261071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803261075
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Bauer has done a great job here.
Tony Conwill
The mid-chapter transitions from section to section don't always flow and the bouncing around on topics sometimes seems a bit random.
Craig Clotfelter
Bauer's work, like much history of the 1970s, especially military history, was informed by the U.S. debacle in Vietnam.
Roger D. Launius

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the best of the Mexican War books I have read. The only critical comment I would have is that the actors sometimes get confused as Bauer tries to put their experience in this war in a context with the War Between the States. His careful scholarship, though, shows how closely PBS came with its mini-series and where they failed. Few books, I think, give such insight into the role of fashion in historical research, which, by itself, is valuable to us amateurs. It is the last book on this subject of which I am aware which has not taken political correctness into account and so his critical attitude towards the Mexican government and that country's ruling classes might provide food for thought for some.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Craig Clotfelter on October 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
A good read covering by-and-large, a forgotten era in American History. While this book shows the footprint of being written by an academic (endnotes aplenty), it still remains readible for the rest of us. Definitely a thoroughly researched and documented read, however, the copius and methodical endnotes do eventually detract from the flow. It's almost as if Bauer was working down a checklist of topics in every chapter. The mid-chapter transitions from section to section don't always flow and the bouncing around on topics sometimes seems a bit random. Although the writing isn't dry or dull it doesn't consistenly shine or carry one through from idea to idea. Certainly not the final book on the subject, it is fairly objective and fairly comprehensive in balance and scope. Bauer delves into the political squabbles in Washington while occasionally highlighting the instability inherent in Mexico's capacity to govern itself at the time. Although emphasizing a bias towards presenting the American perspective, Bauer clearly makes a strong effort to portray the Mexican army perspective as well (not something always done in many military history books, or at least not done with an attempt to provide a balanced perspective). Ultimately Bauer's book prooves readible, not spellbinding, but not dull. It tries to provide at least a decent effort to cover every significant aspect of the war. However, at times, it would seem as if more could have been written. However, like a good historian, Bauer sticks to the facts and the material revealed by his sources maintaining a strong self-discipline avoiding speculation or dramatization. He also highlights (what would seem to be) all the documented efforts of later famous civil war generals and heroes in their early careers.Read more ›
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on August 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
In the 1960s the Macmillan Company contracted with a large group of military historians to write book-length overviews of the wars of the United States. Although it took decades to complete the series, collectively the more than twenty volumes that appeared in this "Macmillan Wars of the United States" series reinterpreted American military history for a new generation of readers. K. Jack Bauer's volume deals with the origins, evolution, and immediate aftermath of the war with Mexico in 1846-1848. It is a powerful narrative exploring this relatively forgotten chapter in American history.

I first read this book in graduate school in 1980, and I recently reread it to refresh my memory and assess its continuing relevance. Although first published more than thirty years ago, upon rereading I would still recommend it as the most authoritative one-volume history of the war, although there are others that are also capable narratives of the same subject. Those others include John S.D. Eisenhower's "So Far from God: The U.S. War with Mexico, 1846-1848" (New York: Anchor Books, 1989) and Otis A. Singletary's "The Mexican War" (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). But I recommend this book as both a very useful overview and an insightful study of lessons -learned that might be applied to both the Vietnam and Iraq wars.

Bauer's work, like much history of the 1970s, especially military history, was informed by the U.S. debacle in Vietnam. Americans had just suffered a defeat at the hands of a dedicated opposition fighting in its own territory. It represented a dramatic failure of the American Empire. Bauer expends considerable energy investigating the similarities, as well as the discontinuities, in these two episodes.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tony Conwill on October 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Bauer has done a great job here. It might be a little spare on the personalities, but for those who know nothing about this war, and there are multitudes, this is a good start.
The only thing I disagree with is Bauer's notion that the United States had nothing to fear from foriegn expansion into the near empty land which was claimed by Mexico. Republican Government had few friends in 1846 and we should put ourselves in the shoes of Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, and James K. Polk when we think of this era. They believed, and probably correctly, that the worst threat to the survival of the U.S. was to continue to try and exist with such a huge open territory on our borders. All that would be needed would be a foreign power with a thirst for empire on our borders and we might cease to exist. Men who thought this way were not imperialists, they were filled with fear for the survival of their decendants. Mexico was not governing much less defending the territories necessary for American survival and something needed to be done about it and fast. I don't recall any of the great Americans of this era ever using the term "manifest destiny." (Bauer doesn't say that either. Revisionists use this newspaper term.) More like manifest survival. This opinion shouldn't of mine shouldn't keep readers from enjoying this book, though. Wonderful job Dr. Bauer!
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