Synopses & Reviews
Our 1846 war with Mexico was a blatant land grab provoked by President James Polk. And while it secured the entire Southwest and California for America, it also exacerbated regional tensions over slavery, created the first significant antiwar movement in America, and helped lead the nation into civil war. A Wicked War is the definitive history of this conflict that turned America into a continental power. Amy Greenberg describes the battles between American and Mexican armies, but also delineates the political battles between Democrats and Whigs—the former led by the ruthless Polk, the latter by the charismatic Henry Clay, and a young representative from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln, who initially drew national attention as a critic of the war. Greenberg brilliantly recounts this key chapter in the creation of the United States, evoking time, place, event, and personality with equal parts authority and narrative flair.
“A fascinating glimpse into the history of the United States invasion of Mexico, revealing the conflict between James K. Polks expansionist doctrine of ‘Manifest Destiny’ and the more domestically focused beliefs of Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln and the Whigs.”
—Shelf Awareness Publishers Weekly
“Greenberg clothes a provocative main idea in a freshly original narrative.”
“Greenbergs probing account of this war reveals its dramaand its very modern complexity.”
Publishers Weekly Library Journal
“An excellent study of how the war was won on the battlefield and lost in public opinion. Narrator Caroline Shaffer . . . reads with energy, varies her pitch and tone, and engages in character voices in order to keep the book moving.”
“An energetic reading by narrator Caroline Shaffer, who performs with great verve and expression and endows historical figures with appropriate and pleasantly done accents. Libraries wishing to fill out their collection of U.S. history of the mid-19th century should consider this title.”
The story of the Mexican-American war—one of the most controversial events in nineteenth-century American history—and of how it divided the country and profoundly impacted the political lives of James Polk, Henry Clay, and Abraham Lincoln.
About the Author
AMY GREENBERG is Liberal Arts Research Professor of History and Womens Studies at Penn State. She is a leading scholar of Manifest Destiny and has held fellowships from the Huntington Library, the New York Historical Society, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society. She lives in State College, Pennsylvania.