I received a prerelease e-copy of this book through NetGalley (publication date October 14, 2014) with the expectation that I will post a review on their site and others (my blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, Amazon, etc.).
I requested this book as I have an interest in American History. This is the first book by John Bicknell that I have read.
I found this book well written and researched. In addition, it was an interesting read about a time period that is often overlooked. I have read other books about this time period, but the focus has always been on the events that occured during James Polk’s presidency and not the period immediately before he took office.
I particularly found the parts about John Tyler’s attempts to gain a second term, Henry Clay’s efforts to avoid losing votes and James Polk’s tight rope walking to stay out of the fray very interesting. The author also wove in other events that contributed to the expansion of the United States such as the wagon trains to Oregon and California and the implementation of the telegraph.
The book also reinforced that politics is politics and that the manipulation to stay in power or gain power has changed little over the course of time with the exception of the tools that are used.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the events leading up to the Mexican War and the expansion of the United States. I also recommend it to those who are interested in following the course of politics and political manipulation in our country.