I recently began reading A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent by Robert Merry. This book is part of my effort to become more familiar with the politics leading up to the Civil War, including the fight over the expansion of slavery. I also am interested in learning more about the Mexican War, where so many of the top leaders in the Union and Confederacy were first tested in battle. As someone who plows through Civil War books -- making up for all those years when I was doing other things -- it was hard to tear myself away from the War Between the States! However, I made a commitment that I would do some in-depth reading on antebellum America. Don't be surprised if I sneak in a little thought or two on relevant pre-Civil War history from time to time. I also plan to explore more on the issue of secession in Virginia as we approach the 150th anniversary of the Commonwealth's ill-fated decision to break away from the Union.
|(courtesy of History Book Club)|