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Invading Mexico: America's Continental Dream and the Mexican War, 1846-1848
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Invading Mexico: America's Continental Dream and the Mexican War, 1846-1848

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  38 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Popular historian Joseph Wheelan recounts James Polk’s strategy of last resort for prying California away from Mexico. He had tried to buy it; he had instructed his agents to encourage a settlers’ revolt. When these measures failed, the impatient president, while cynically condemning Mexico’s anger over America’s annexation of Texas, sent General Zachary Taylor’s army to t ...more
Hardcover, 492 pages
Published March 7th 2007 by PublicAffairs
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Bob Nichols
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book covers the U.S. territorial expansion under President Polk (1844-1848). Polk, who pledged just a single term, had campaigned on a platform to annex Texas, which had earlier broken away from Mexico, and to get the Oregon Territory question resolved. But Polk’s real objective was California, especially with its West coast port (San Francisco). The New Mexico Territory (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah) was, initially at least, of secondary interest.

Polk was Jeffersonian in policy (land for
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I became interested in The War of 1847 since I was a little boy, perhaps motivated by the nationalistic brainwashing during my elementary schooling days in Mexico. Now, I picked this book for entirely new reasons: while most people in Mexico are quick to remember what we lost – and most importantly, quick to attach fault to General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, very few people even bother to ask why. Most are unaware of the main reasons of the big defeat: an absence of national identity, a catast ...more
Jun 24, 2009 rated it liked it
A very readable blow-by-blow account of U.S. political and military maneuverings during the war with Mexico. Although the book offers only sparing analysis of the events it portrays, the extensive research on display here should allow readers to form their own assessments of U.S. actions. Unfortunately, the book contains only limited information on Mexican perspectives, and several small errors creep in (the scholar Ramón Alcaraz, for instance, is repeatedly referred to as "Alcarez," while the t ...more
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Exellent! Easy to read.
The maps could have been more and better.
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very readable, entertaining and informative book about the Mexican War covering activities in Texas and Northern Mexico, California, New Mexico and Vera Cruz / Mexico City. I believe that the depiction of the leading Generals, junior officers (many of whom became major players in the Civil War) and Washington politicians was very accurate. Wheelan clearly points out both the good and the bad side of the story. I particularly enjoy Wheelan's writing style in telling the story in snippets and sh ...more
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
Interesting and very readable, Invading Mexico does a good job of describing the events of a war that is often forgotten despite its importance. As a Californian, the war is a strong part of local history but you'd be hard pressed to find someone with more than a passing familiarity with it.

The book also serves as an "origin story" for many of the biggest names in the Civil War. It is particularly interesting to read about them, all fighting on the same side, and knowing that within 10 years th
May 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I wanted to like this one. I had hoped to learn about a piece of American history that gets glossed over or completely skipped on the way to the Civil War. But I was disappointed. The book was confusing and disjointed, and I had trouble keeping all the people straight. There was too much emphasis on unnecessary details (like how many cannons each army had) and there was a shocking lack of maps! The author also didn't seem to make any attempt to understand the Mexican point of view.
Robert Ripson
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An exceptional expose into the causes, decisions, divisions, and ultimate outcome of an American war rarely discussed. Joseph Wheeler writes in terms that will captivate the imagination of an era in which American Manifest Destiny was brought to fruition. An excellent read for all who want to enhance their knowledge of American military and political matters.
Brian Brinkerhoff
Sep 28, 2009 rated it liked it
The book ends with a memorable sentiment from U. Grant, who was a young man at the time. The quote is too powerful to save, and, if it will entice anyone into learning more about this war, it is worth spoiling. Grant, as the book quotes from his memoir, says, the civil war was divine retribution for an unjust conflict, waged on an innocent people, solely for land.
Jonas Ortega
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the very few books written on the US-Mexico war which is relevant up to date on the status of these countries' relations
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I knew very little about the Mexican War before reading this book. I was surprised how very books there were out on this subject.
J. Bryce
Excellent book, great intro to a subject that all Americans needs to understand better.

The parallels between the US-Mexican war and Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are undeniable.
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