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James K. Polk: A Clear and Unquestionable Destiny (Biographies in American Foreign Policy) Paperback – November 1, 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This highly readable, well-researched, and tightly argued study focuses on the political abilities of President James K. Polk, whose aggressive foreign policies combined with a series of fortuitous circumstances to make him a major agent of Manifest Destiny. In four years, his administration set the path toward American empire by acquiring Texas, Oregon, California, and the Southwest, thereby spreading republican ideals as well as enhancing the nation's commercial capacity and securing its continental borders. (Howard Jones, research professory, University of Alabama)

Overshadowed by Jackson and Lincoln, Polk contributed almost half the continent to young America during his term in office. Thomas M. Leonard's account will enlighten those who have neglected him and confirm his importance to the course of U.S. history. Crowded within President Polk's one term are complicated issues emerging from the continental expansion of the United States. Leonard's thematic approach to the study of Polk's policies provides a clear narrative that is accessible to both students and the public. (Anna Kasten Nelson, distinguished historian in residence, American University)

Thomas M. Leonard provides handy summaries of each expansionist movement and a concise critical assessment of Polk's tactics and policies in accomplishing his programs. Students of American expansionism, sectionalism, and presidential politics will all benefit from this examination. (Kinley Brauer, University of Minnesota)

An excellent blend of political biography of Polk and topical discussion of the major expansionist issues of his presidency. A detailed chronology and an excellent bibliographic essay make this study highly useful for classroom purposes. (Don M. Coerver, Texas Christian University)

About the Author

Thomas M. Leonard is distinguished professor and director of the International Studies Program at the University of North Florida.
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Product Details

  • Series: Biographies in American Foreign Policy (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 44783rd edition (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0842026479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842026475
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,473,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By G. Zilly on September 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am currently reading a bio of every President in order. I generally look for a fairly comprehensive one volume account but unfortunately for Polk there are none available (although the forthcoming 400+ page plus bio by Borneman will hopefully change this). I decided I would save my money to wait for Borneman's book and checked out Leonard's short bio (196 pages of text) from the Library.

Thankfully, this is a great short bio of James K. Polk. His early life is covered in a suprising amount of detail for the short amount of text devoted to it, and his Presidency is covered quite thoroughly. This is accomplished by Leonard's great writing and superb organization and editing. This book was so satisfactory I am not sure I will even decide to read Borneman's forthcoming biography. Also, do not be swayed by Betty Burke's review, she is clearly reviewing the wrong book.
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Format: Paperback
This book was not written by a fan or supporter of this Tennessee president, but released by a Yankee group who hides behind "Oxford" so we might think Mississippi or England. Not so, William Dusinberre must be fuddies with the university professors who tore apart Nathan Bedford Forrest in the same way. Overlooked completely he status and the part these Tennesseans played in the history of this nation. It's best to consider character assassination with the conflicting thins these writers emphasize while leaving out the real story, the facts of the matter. James K. Polk had been Governor of Tehhessee and Speaker of the House of Representatives before becoming U. S. president. It was not a secret that he owned slaves to work on his cotton plantation in Mississippi. We didn't have such in Tennessee, but I have an old post card of the 11th President's bust which stands in the State Capitol in Nashville. We visited Polk's ancestral home in downtown Columbia, Tennessee. It was not out in the country, though a famous one is in that county owned by a female physician. She did not have slaves. Forrest's family were fine, upstanding natives of Chapel Hill, not so far east from Columbia. It infuriates me when I innocently find weird subverted stuff like thos on the public library shelves. I wish the reference librarians who ordered these fiction pretending to be non-fiction before putting them out for just anybody to read. Polk was duly elected and in the White House from 1845 to 1849, before the Civil War. He was not responsible for that war.

This person from Cape Town used the false writings of professor Wayne Cutler when he came to this Republican town, and thought that what he was reading was truth. Polk was a Southern Democrat. What would he write about Huey B.
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