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A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the…
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A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2012; vuoden 2012 painos)

– tekijä: Amy S. Greenberg

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
235886,709 (3.82)4
A critical assessment of the Mexican-American war and its divisive role in U.S. politics also evaluates its impact on the careers of James Polk, Henry Clay, and Abraham Lincoln and how it set the stage for the American Civil War.
Jäsen:NLytle
Teoksen nimi:A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico
Kirjailijat:Amy S. Greenberg
Info:Knopf (2012), Hardcover, 368 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
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Teoksen tarkat tiedot

A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico (tekijä: Amy S. Greenberg) (2012)

  1. 00
    Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America's First Humanitarian Mission (tekijä: Stephen Puleo) (Othemts)
    Othemts: History books documenting the same period of time in US History capture the good (international relief) and bad (imperialist exansion) of American foreign policy at the time.
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Most academics are politically left wing and for social scientists like this author that bias often prevails in their writing. That said there were a few factoids I picked up here that I did not previously know, e.g., many, perhaps most of the Mexican upper class wanted the U.S. to annex the entire country; American atrocities were a response to Mexican brigandage that did not accord with the rules of war as understood at that time.

What the author glosses over was that the American frontier was entering its final phase; the 1890 U.S. Census would show that it had closed within the previous ten years. One can call it manifest destiny but any modern nation feels the need to define its borders. This was not like Poland, Alsace-Lorraine or Crimea where borders have shifted back and forth over the centuries.

President Polk's predecessor had rattled the saber at Britain with "54-40 or fight!" but diplomacy had settled the boundary considerably further south at 49 degrees where it has peacefully remained ever since. Chaos, corruption and political intrigue among the Mexican ruling class prevented a negotiated settlement. Eventually it would have to have been settled. Given Mexico's legacy of systemic social problems its hard to imagine when if ever this issue could have ever been settled without recourse to violence or bribery (which President Polk also tried). ( )
  JoeHamilton | Jul 21, 2020 |
I elected to read this book because I had read so little about the Mexican War. Never have I found a book where an author was bitterly opposed to the subject matter. In fact, this bitterness turned my interest away more than a few times. All that said, the author has given us a very readable history, not just about the history of the war itself but also about the people and times surrounding it. I recommend this work. ( )
  DeaconBernie | Jun 25, 2019 |
Wow - excellent history as engaging as a good novel. I sooooooooo look forward to more from this author! ( )
  hopeevey | May 20, 2018 |
How the war with Mexico to annex Texas (and more territory) drove James K. Polk to the presidency, and then dragged him down, told through the personal stories of James and Sarah Polk, the end of Henry Clay’s career, and the beginning of Abraham Lincoln’s, with a bit from the Nicholas Trist, the man who negotiated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago after he’d already been recalled by a jealous and distrustful Polk. ( )
  rivkat | Jul 19, 2016 |
Like many Americans, I know very little about the Mexican War, which is a shame since what I learned from this one-volume history, we Americans keep repeating the same mistakes our nation made in this war. Greenberg writes a page-turning narrative starting with the drumbeat for war - ostensibly caused by the United States annexation of the Republic of Texas, but with many American leaders hoping to annex California and other Mexican lands as well. The United States first war with another republic was one guided by a greed for land and featured many atrocities - pillaging, rape, massacres - by American soldiers against the Mexican populace. The American troops were able to occupy Mexico City and hardliners desired to annex all the land of Mexico. But if the Mexican War is overlooked in American history, even more so is the first American anti-war movement prompted by reports from returning soldiers and embedded reporters of the real horror of the war. In the conclusion of this book, Greenburg documents how the Daughters of the American Revolution grew out of this war, an attempt to reclaim the virtue and glory of the founding war and overshadow the avarice and criminality of the war with Mexico.

A Wicked War is by no means a comprehensive history of the war with Mexico. Greenburg focuses her narrative on five historical figures. The first is President James Polk who Greenburg describes as an apprentice of Andrew Jackson, a hard worker determined to meet his goals, and unusual for his time considered his wife Sarah an equal partner in his political career. While a hard worker, his aims seem less admirable as Polk is depicted as wanting to seize the Southwest by any means and with this expand the slaveholding territory of the United States. Opposing Polk is anti-slavery and anti-war candidate Henry Clay in his third and last failed campaign for President. Clay's son Henry, Jr. would go on to fight and die in the war adding to the elder Clay's agony at this time. But he would rally for one more great speech that would inspire the nation's response to the end and aftermath of the war.

Another featured figure is John J. Hardin, a popular Illinois congressman who went against his fellow Whigs to support the invasion of Mexico and volunteered to fight. His death at the Battle of Buena Vista became an image of glory for the war supporters even at a time when support for the war was flagging. Hardin's death also opened the door for his friend-turned-political rival Abraham Lincoln who was elected to represent their district's seat in Congress in 1846. Inspired by Clay, Lincoln would speak out against President Polk and the War in Congress despite the unpopularity of his views among his constituents, who saw to it that he would serve only one term. The final figure in this book is Nicholas Trist, a diplomat sent by Polk to negotiate the Mexican surrender. Upon growing familiar with the reality of the war and the conditions of the Mexican people, Trist refused to follow Polk's instructions and negotiated a fairer deal with Mexico that ceded a smaller amount of territory to the United States. After negotiation the Treaty of Guadalupe, Trist wrote "My feeling of shame as an American was far stronger than the Mexicans' could be."

I found this historical work very compelling and a good introduction to a bad war. ( )
1 ääni Othemts | Mar 18, 2014 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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I do not think there was ever a more wicked war than that waged by the United States on Mexico. I thought so at the time, when I was a youngster, only I had not moral courage enough to resign.- Ulysses S. Grant, 1879
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For Rich, Jackson, and Violet
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(Introduction) This is the story of five men, four years, and one foreign war.
February 14, 1844, did not unfold as sixty-six-year-old Henry Clay planned.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (4)

A critical assessment of the Mexican-American war and its divisive role in U.S. politics also evaluates its impact on the careers of James Polk, Henry Clay, and Abraham Lincoln and how it set the stage for the American Civil War.

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