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Manifest Destiny and Mission in American History Reprint Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674548053
ISBN-10: 0674548051
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Was Manifest Destiny a true expression of our national spirit? In answering this question a distinguished American historian here provides a brilliant reinterpretation of the idea set forth by some writers and politicians in the nineteenth century. (David Herbert Donald Journal of Southern History)

About the Author

Frederick Merk was Gurney Professor of American History, Harvard University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (October 25, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674548051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674548053
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,275,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By F. P. Barbieri on September 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
The words "Manifest destiny" are associated, in the popular mind, with the whole conquering outburst that, in less than a century, managed to expand the area of white English-speaking settlement in what are now the United States of America from a group of thinly settled communities on the East Coast to a continent-wide nation numbering in the hundreds of millions. It associates this conquering outburst with the taint of nationalistic and bellicose arrogance, of chauvinism and brutality; and may therefore be said to taint even further the already inevitably bloody business of conquest and settlement.
At the height of American self-confidence and belief, at the beginning of the sixties, Frederick Merk set out to disprove this popular image; and showed, with a wealth of documentary evidence, that the actual jingoistic "Manifest Destiny" episode was nothing more than a short-lived craze, such as the US are seized with from time to time, peaking, but also falling apart, with the notorious 1848 war against Mexico. Merk observes that, while in the light of events the superiority of the USA over Mexico seems obvious, it was by no means so clear to contemporaries: the military establishment of Mexico was considerably larger than the peacetime US army, and the Mexicans would be fighting on their own soil. Yet the American army, thanks largely to a stiffening of the officer corps with civilians trained in the numerous American military academies and recalled to arms, proved the more efficient and effectively conquered Mexico.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book. I first read it as an undergraduate who thought history was boring. This book and my diplomatic history professor completely changed my mind about history almost 20 years ago. The book is very readable and the focus, which tries to look at whether average americans really believed in Manifest Destiny before, during, and after the Mexican-American War, gives the book a social history flavor that one certainly did not see in Diplomatic History back in the early 80's when I first read this book. I highly recommend the book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This should be required reading for all students to understand the basis of US mistaken direction in 1900 toward imperialism and global expansion. Teddy Roosevelt's ego took the country into a role which the Founding Fathers never envisioned or sanctioned. Our country would be much safer and secure if we had understood the role of government in protecting our contiguous border.
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By A Customer on February 4, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh boy, this is the worst book I've ever read. I consider myself to be well read and an intelligent human being. And this is just about the most boring book I've ever had to read. Well, I also am not much of a fan of American history, so that may influence my opinion a bit, but the fact remains, I really didn't like this book. At all. Seriously. If your looking for a very long winded book that while the language is understandable, it radiates boredom, then this is for you...or something.
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By A Customer on February 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Oh boy, this is the worst book I've ever read. I consider myself to be well read and an intelligent human being. And this is just about the most boring book I've ever had to read. Well, I also am not much of a fan of American history, so that may influence my opinion a bit, but the fact remains, I really didn't like this book. At all. Seriously. If your looking for a very long winded book that while the language is understandable, it radiates boredom, then this is for you...or something.
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