Mike's Reviews > A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

A Country of Vast Designs by Robert W. Merry
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's review
Sep 28, 2011

it was ok
Read from September 24 to 28, 2011

In the beginning of the book, Robert Merry relates an incident in the early life of James K. Polk in which he had to have kidney stones removed through a surgical procedure performed without anesthetic. This horrific incident, which rendered Polk impotent and/or sterile, is the only thing told in an interesting manner in this entire book. The rest of the tome relates dry policy debates in dispassionate, unmoving language in torpid and slow blocks of prose that made this reader want to hit his own face with the book. You'd think there must be a great story to tell in the acquisition of the entire west coast of what we now recognize as the United States, but it will require someone with a little more literary passion to tell that story compellingly

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Mike this book will stand in my memory as the only time i have ever seen the word "perineum" used in a history book.

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