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Seizing Destiny Paperback – 15 Nov 2008
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"A detailed and compelling portrait. . . . It will force you to think about how America was made, and why." --The Boston Globe"Comprehensive and sweeping. . . . Fascinating. . . . Kluger is a skilled and passionate storyteller." --Chicago Tribune
"Epic. . . . Brilliant. . . . Kluger limns colorful pen portraits of heroes and knaves both familiar and forgotten." --The Plain Dealer
"A well-crafted and readable narrative of this often sordid, sometimes forgotten side of the American past." --The Washington Post Book World
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Top international reviews
I recommend that if you have little knowledge of the subject matter, then look no further than this book for an excellent introduction. Then, if any part interests you e.g. Mexican War, Louisiana Purchase, seek out further reading in depth material on those subjects.
A word about the Kindle edition: It fails to search-and-find across chapters, or even within chapters. The maps do not show. And there's no index. So if you own the hardcopy, you may want to keep it for the sake of the maps and index.
Best of all, his perspective is that of a disinterested party - not the chauvinistic pap that we all had to endure in public school text books. This is not to say that he has written a preachy screed from the Howard Zinn school of victim-history. His assessments are witty and yet balanced. There are no cartoonish heros or villains here, just complex people working for their own ends.
Do yourself a favor and expand the "All editorial reviews". You will find therein not only very favorable comments from Joseph Ellis, David Kennedy, Dan Carter and others, but also a brief snippet from the book.
If you are a jingoistic "super-patriot" of the Lynne Cheney/William Bennett school, beware! This book may let too much light in.