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

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Nov 3, 2009 - History - 592 pages
President James K. Polk, often overlooked yet ever-consequential, comes to life in this “compelling, perceptive portrait” (The Wall Street Journal) biography of the 11th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson protégé, and champion of “manifest destiny.”

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).

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

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

Other editions - View all

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.

Bibliographic information