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A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico by [Greenberg, Amy S.]
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A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Historian Greenberg, who specializes in Manifest Destiny, advances a thesis about the expansionist doctrine’s realization through the Mexican-American War of 1846–48. As he sees it, things could have been much worse for Mexico, for at times President James Polk demanded more Mexican territory than he eventually settled for. Greenberg argues that strengthening antiwar sentiment deterred Polk, the evidence for which she draws from four figures who opposed the war: Henry Clay, Polk’s opponent in the 1844 election; Nicholas Trist, Polk’s diplomat, who defied orders and negotiated the peace treaty; Abraham Lincoln; and Lincoln’s now-forgotten Illinois political rival, John Hardin. Greenberg brings forth interesting details about each character’s political life and stance toward proposals to annex Texas that posed an obvious risk of war. Particularly intriguing is the prominence Greenberg accords to Hardin, whose deepening doubt about the war never assumed public expression and who, killed at the Battle of Buena Vista, was honored as a war hero. Adding Polk’s politically talented wife to the historical mix, Greenberg clothes a provocative main idea in a freshly original narrative. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

“The best account we have of the politics of Mr. Polk’s War . . . If one can read only a single book about the Mexican-American War, this is the one to read.”   —James M. McPherson, The New York Review of Books

“Amy Greenberg's original and moving narrative of the U.S. invasion of Mexico relates the gradual loss of enthusiasm for waging what began as a popular war of conquest.  How peace ultimately prevailed is the most surprising part of her story.” —Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought
 
“No less a warrior than Ulysses S. Grant had good reason to decry the war with Mexico as ‘wicked.’  In Amy S. Greenberg’s dramatic and deeply engaging political narrative, the reader gets the grit of the campaign and rich insight into the fascinating historical actors who stage-managed (or resisted) this all-important, under-studied war.  In these fast-turning pages, we see clashes among political opportunists, moments of eloquence and pathos-all under the rising sun of American power.” —Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg, authors of Madison and Jefferson
 
A Wicked War gives the U.S.-Mexican War a personal dimension and immediacy that has been lacking until now.  Amy Greenberg makes us live the war vicariously through the lives of the aging patriarch Henry Clay who lost a son in Mexico, the husband-and-wife presidential team of James K. and Sarah Polk, the lanky and somewhat disheveled Abraham Lincoln still learning about politics, and others.  This is a rare melding of great story-telling and analysis of an era that shaped not only the United States but the entire North American continent.” —Andrés Reséndez, author of A Land So Strange
 
A Wicked War, with its emphasis on politics rather than military history, does for the Mexican-American war what James McPherson did for the Civil War with Battle Cry of Freedom, greatly broadening our understanding of the war. Certainly Professor Greenberg’s book will immediately become the standard account of the Mexican War, at last giving it an important place in the history of the United States. This book restores my faith in the merits of narrative history.” —Mark E. Neely, Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Fate of Liberty

“A well-rendered, muscular history of a war whose ramifications are still being carefully calibrated." —Kirkus Reviews

"The seldom-sung Mexican War emerges as one of America's most morally ambiguous and divisive conflicts in this illuminating history." —Publishers Weekly

“Amy S. Greenberg’s new history elegantly unfolds the story of the war through the lives of five politicians . . . [Greenberg] immerse[s] her readers in the early 1840s . . . Gripping.” —Maria Montoya, San Francisco Chronicle

"A provocative main idea in a freshly original narrative." —Booklist

“Greenberg writes taut political history, full of chapter-ending cliffhangers and characters who feel like real people.”
Zocalo Public Square

“In her absorbing and valuable A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico, Penn State’s Amy S. Greenberg does a splendid job of vivifying this disgraceful episode in American history.” —Bill Kauffman, Reason

Product details

  • File Size: 8957 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (November 6, 2012)
  • Publication Date: November 6, 2012
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082XLYX4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,881 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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