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

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


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

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).

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PublisherSimon & Schuster
Publication Date2010-11-02
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs

"Robert Merry's authoritative biography of James K. Polk. . . provides a compelling, perceptive portrait. . . Merry joins his skill at portraiture to thorough scholarship and a shrewd grasp of human nature." - The Wall Street Journal

"Filled with intricate stories of personal conflict, psychological gamesmanship, and unintended consequences. . . one of the most astute and informative historical accounts yet written about national politics, and especially Washington politics, during the decisive 1840s." - The New York Times Book Review

"Polk was our most underrated President. He made the United States into a continental nation. Bob Merry captures the controversial and the visionary aspects of his presidency in a colorful narrative tale populated by great characters such as Jackson, Clay, and Can Buren." -Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe

"[Merry] brings a historian's perspective, a journalist's nose for the story and a novelist's eye to one of our country's most dramatic and defining moments. In strong, precise and elegant prose, Mr. Merry brings the key players of the day to life in terms of both personal characteristics and the causes they personified." - Washingtonian

Robert W. Merry is a prominent American journalist and writer, renowned for his invaluable contributions to political and historical literature. Mr. Merry has displayed adeptness in portraying historical events and figures with great vividness, serving readers with enthralling narratives that are both engrossing and informative. Merry started his illustrious career with 'The Wall Street Journal', rising to the role of Chief Congressional Correspondent. Making an indelible mark in journalism, he later donned the hat of CEO & President at 'Congressional Quarterly' and 'Editor' at 'The National Interest'. His leadership roles and extensive experience in political reporting are evident in his astute political analyses. Apart from his journalism prowess, Merry has also authored several books. Most noteworthy among his works are 'Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians' and a biography of President McKinley titled 'President McKinley: Architect of the American Century'. Both books add to his standing as a credible commentator on American history and politics, making Robert W. Merry, a respected voice in the literary and journalistic landscape.

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