A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 3, 2009 - History - 592 pages
A New York Times Bestseller and New York Times Notable Book

Robert Merry's brilliant and highly acclaimed history of a crucial epoch in U.S. history—the presidency of James K. Polk, "our most underrated president" (Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein).

In a one-term presidency, James K. Polk completed the story of America’s Manifest Destiny—extending its territory across the continent by threatening England with war and manufacturing a controversial and unpopular two-year war with Mexico. "A crucial architect of modern America, James K. Polk deserves to be elevated out of the mists of history" (Jon Meacham, author of American Lion).
 

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User Review  - walterhistory - LibraryThing

This work covers a controversial period in which a President's foreign policy included expansion of the US through high handed diplomacy up to threat of war to actual war. The author does a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - zen_923 - LibraryThing

This book is a great narrative of Polk's Presidency. The author's writing style makes the story flow like a good novel. It is very informative and detailed. Whether you like Presidential biographies or not, if you want to learn more about American history, this book is a must-read for you! Read full review

Contents

Ritual of Democracy The Emergence
1
The Making of a Jackson Protégé
13
The Rise and Fall of
31
Searching for a Means
49
Dawn of a New Era
65
Americas First Political Dark Horse
81
Answering the Question Who
96
Preparing for the Mantle of Leadership
112
Transformation of the War Debate
278
Patriotism Duty Adventure
293
We Are Yet to Have a Long
307
Constitutional Usurpation
322
The Challenge of Presidential
335
Grappling with Mexicos
351
A Clash of Policy and Temperament
366
The Pivot of Personality
383

Americas Zest for Grand Ambitions
131
Diplomacy Intrigue and
145
The People Here
161
Divergent
176
Playing with Prospects of
190
Polk Takes Command
205
Diplomacy and Politics at
222
Every Consideration of Duty and Patriotism
238
And May There Be No Recreant
253
I Prefer to Supervise
268
Have We Conquered Peace?
402
From Trist to Polk to the Senate
418
California New Mexico and the Union
436
Solemnly Impressed with
452
Legacy The Price of Presidential
471
Notes
479
Bibliography
543
Acknowledgments
551
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Robert Merry is the editor of The National Interest. He has been a Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and the executive editor of the Congressional Quarterly. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The National Review, The American Spectator, and The National Interest. He has appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Newsmakers, and many other programs. The author of McKinley, he lives in McLean, Virginia.

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