A dramatic narrative history continuing Robert Leckie's popular series on the history of the United States that covers the first 50 years following the American Revolution.
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Another colorful, absorbing historical narrative from Leckie (George Washington's War, 1992, etc.), who tells here of the territorial growth of America, as well as of the country's various wars with enemies foreign and domestic, from the early Federal period through the war with Mexico. The history Leckie relates is one of constant warfare. He begins with a lively account of the Yorktown surrender and then proceeds through America's quasi-war with France and its brief, gloriously triumphant conflict with the Barbary pirates on through the War of 1812, the Indian wars, the Texan War of Independence, and war with Mexico. Through anecdotal accounts, Leckie emphasizes the human interest in these battles, drawing distinctive portraits of Edward Preble, commodore of the Barbary expedition; Zachary Taylor; Andrew Jackson; William Henry Harrison; the Indian chief Tecumseh; Winfield Scott, and other military leaders. The author adheres only very loosely to his theme of American expansion: He says little about the Louisiana Purchase, for instance, while devoting a great deal of space to the Barbary War--in which expansion was not an issue--and to the War of 1812, in which American plans to conquer territory were unsuccessful. In telling of the rout by American forces of the Mexican army in the ``halls of Montezuma,'' and of the 1848 treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo--which ceded northern Mexican territories to the US--Leckie doesn't try to ennoble American actions, characterizing the war with Mexico as one of the ``great land grabs in human history that have remained permanent''--one after which, ``except for Alaska, the area of the continental United States was now rounded out.'' Here, as in his earlier works, Leckie offers little that's new or profound, and no penetrating historical analysis--but, once again, he delivers a vivid, engrossing story. (Maps) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Leckie continues his drums-and-bugles approach to history, following his None Died in Vain ( LJ 8/90) and George Washington's War ( LJ 8/92). Unfortunately, he has not been affected by recent trends toward political correctness, and this latest title is as weak as its predecessors, containing stereotypes to offend almost any group. From early pages in which Islamic culture is portrayed as incapable of producing a road, through images of slouching Indians and treacherous and incompetent Hispanics, Leckie presents an anecdotal and WASP-oriented view of the growth of the United States between 1812 and 1847, a view more commonly found in obsolete textbooks. This is regrettable, because he can tell a good story--one only wishes that he would write for the 1990s rather than the 1950s.-- Stanley Planton, Ohio Univ.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harper Perennial, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060922540
Book Description Harper Perennial, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060922540
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Book Description Harper Perennial, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060922540
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