A Country of Vast Designs by Robert W. Merry
James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

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Synopsis

ROBERT MERRY’S BRILLIANT AND HIGHLY ACCLAIMED HISTORY OF A CRUCIAL EPOCH IN U.S. HISTORY.

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.
 

About Robert W. Merry

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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 in Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Newsmakers, and many other programs. He lives in McLean, Virginia.
 
Published October 14, 2009 by Simon & Schuster. 612 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Merry (Sands of Empire: Missionary Zeal, American Foreign Policy, and the Hazards of Global Ambition, 2005, etc.) skillfully places Polk within the era’s political firmament, and he ably assesses his complex character and chronicles his contentious relations with a variety of players, especially ...

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The New York Times

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(Polk was also renowned as an impressive speaker and campaigner despite his ordinary, 5-foot-8-inch frame: hence the nickname Napoleon of the Stump.) Polk was, Merry writes, “in many ways a smaller-than-life figure, but he harbored larger-than-life ambitions.” He combined those ambitions with an ...

Nov 20 2009 | Read Full Review of A Country of Vast Designs: Ja...

BC Books

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Home Books Book Review: A Country of Vast Designs: James K.

Dec 28 2009 | Read Full Review of A Country of Vast Designs: Ja...

BC Books

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Merry focuses specifically on Polk and the Mexican War in the book, and I'd say that even a reader already familiar with the historical background will none the less learn a great deal.

Dec 28 2009 | Read Full Review of A Country of Vast Designs: Ja...

The Wall Street Journal

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"To look at the map, and to take in the western and southwestern expanse included in it, is to see the magnitude of Polk's presidential accomplishments," Mr. Merry writes.

Nov 05 2009 | Read Full Review of A Country of Vast Designs: Ja...

Open Letters Monthly

Yet Polk was responsible for creating a continental nation, roughly doubling the size of the United States by adding 1.2 million square miles of territory (that would become the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, and parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Mont...

Apr 03 2010 | Read Full Review of A Country of Vast Designs: Ja...

The American Conservative

At present casualty rates — October was the worst month of the war — thousands more Americans will die before we see any light at the end of this tunnel, if ever we do.

Sep 28 2009 | Read Full Review of A Country of Vast Designs: Ja...

The American Conservative

At present casualty rates — October was the worst month of the war — thousands more Americans will die before we see any light at the end of this tunnel, if ever we do.

Sep 21 2009 | Read Full Review of A Country of Vast Designs: Ja...

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