- Hardcover: 347 pages
- Publisher: American Political Biography Press (July 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0945707088
- ISBN-13: 978-0945707080
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest
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But getting to chapter 11 is a slog. Bauer gives us mountains of details about what Taylor did in his military career and what battles he was involved in. But the narration is completely flat. Detail after detail is presented one after another with limited context and often weak transitions. To someone who was a specialist in military history, the continuous list of details might be interesting. Names of both people and army groups (and there are a lot of them) are brought in with little if any background and the maps are limited help. To the general reader it is mind-numbing. The fact that people were dying or that Taylor was actually a military pioneer of sorts in places ranging from Green Bay to Florida gets lost in the details. Part of the problem with Taylor is that most of his personal letters and much else was destroyed in the Civil War. Bauer had limited material to go on. But, granting that, the first 214 pages of this book are so flatly written that it makes it extremely tough for the reader to care very much.
For whatever reasons, perhaps the loss of contextual material or Bauer’s writing style, I would recommend the book as a nice review of Zachary Taylor’s presidency but not his pre-presidential military career.
Bauer presents that evolution of principle in a very direct manner, letting the reader grow in knowledge of the man as Taylor grew on his own. Good read, extremely strong research for Mexican-American War chapters and presents a distinctly different portrait of James Polk than many historians do today.