So Far from God: The U.S. War with Mexico, 1846-1848

John S. D. Eisenhower, Author Random House (NY) $24.95 (436p) ISBN 978-0-394-56051-9
The war between the United States and Mexico, often passed over lightly as a sort of rehearsal for the American Civil War, is dealt with by Eisenhower ( The Bitter Woods ) as an event of major significance in the nation's history. (It was certainly major from the loser's point of view: Mexico gave up more than half its territory in the 1848 Treaty of Gaudalupe Hidalgo.) This well-written, comprehensive history of the war takes into account the political and diplomatic dimensions as well as the military. The two principal campaigns are traced in colorful detail: Zachary Taylor's battles in northeast Mexico, aggressively fought until Winfield Scott appropriated that general's best troops for his own amphibious landing at Veracruz, and Scott's over land drive on Mexico City against formidable opposition, brilliantly successful despite weak support from Washington. Eisenhower, son of the former president, suggests that Winfield Scott was the most capable soldier this country has ever produced. Of President James Polk, one of the three major characters in this lively narrative, the author remarks, ``Manifest Destiny was not Polk's invention, but he was its ideal agent.'' Author tour. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-8061-3279-2
Open Ebook - 359 pages - 978-0-307-82768-5
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