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Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America (2008)

por Walter R. Borneman

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5011339,527 (3.8)41
Through Borneman's arrative, Polk emerges as the man who won a war, doubled America's size, and empowered the executive branch--in just a single term--against a contentious political backdrop.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 13 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
I liked it and I did not like it, except for the "Mexican War" which was clearly a main part of the book. I would have put it down ere the first shot was ever fired and it would be one more book unfinished! This book was, to a great extent, also a book about Jackson, Clay, Van Buren, and as a side note only, Lincoln.

Very little was written about the native population that was so dearly affected by the western expansion. Borneman wrote, "A man with no qualms about buying and selling other human beings [Polk enslaved more than one, though this book is not about slavery] probably did not dwell on how expansionist policies might affect indigenous Native Americans or, for that matter, any nationality occupying coveted tarritory" (location 634).

In 1948 Arthur M. Schlesinger asked prominent historians to rank U.S. Presidents, on their performance in the White House. Polk came in at 10 out of 29. He repeated this poll in 1962, and Polk came in at 8 out of 31. Then Schlesinger, Jr. put the poll out once more in 1996, and Polk came in at 9 out of 39.

I don't know who Random House uses to copy edit their digitization of books, but I'd be happy to oblige them. Consistently when the book referred to Mr. & Mrs. Smith (or similarly named folks), they were referred to as "the Smiths," (which is correct). But when James Polk and Sarah Polk were referred to jointly, they were consistently referred to as "the Polk's." Argh. Are we no longer teaching punctuation grammar? ( )
  kaulsu | Jul 1, 2020 |
A thorough and well-researched biography detailing the life and times of one of America's inexplicably less-known presidents. The author fairly presents Polk's accomplishments without espousing any particular ideology.

I would have ranked this book higher but for the fact that the author's style is sometimes tedious, most often in his presentation of unnecessary minutiae which detract from the main thrust of his work.

Nevertheless, a recommended read for those who want to learn more about this much underappreciated early president. ( )
  la2bkk | Mar 1, 2020 |
Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter R. Borneman is a biography of the 11th President of the United States. Mr. Borneman is a well-known American historian and lawyer.

A biography of President James K. Polk. In this biography, the author re-evaluates the contribution made by Mr. Polk to the country and the institution of the Presidency.

I didn’t know much about Mr. Polk before reading this book and I came away with a brand new appreciation for the man. This is a well-researched, well written and the author makes a good argument about Mr. Polk being one of the most able Presidents the United States has had.

Polk, who presided over the Mexican-American War, accomplished his goal but acquiring the territory in the west of the continent including California and Oregon. The great accomplishments of this President where lost mainly because

An excellent biography of a President who was probably the most influential person to hold office between Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Borneman wrote a readable and informative account of Polk’s life and time in office.

For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com ( )
1 vota ZoharLaor | Nov 18, 2017 |
I read this book during my lunch break periods at work. Polk's Presidency is re-evaluated historically in this account. We see that Polk was a very hands-on President and fully committed to the expansion of the United States. Expansion was not a popular issue overall during that period. So, it took a strong-willed and political savvy President to maintain the focus and commitment to this ideal. ( )
1 vota MikeBiever | Sep 4, 2014 |
It was very interesting and well done biography. It contains many interesting details related to American expansion under president Polk that I wasn't aware about. It also gives an objective portrait of this undeservedly forgotten president. ( )
  everfresh1 | Jul 26, 2014 |
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Strike boldly; it [is] your habit,
and the means of your elevation.

~U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Catron to James K. Polk, September 27, 1837
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Through Borneman's arrative, Polk emerges as the man who won a war, doubled America's size, and empowered the executive branch--in just a single term--against a contentious political backdrop.

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