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Publisher's Summary

The Best American Presidents of All Time is a somewhat nebulous list. The methodology for choosing the best changes from one poll to the next, and the criteria varies with each historian's personal biases. But over the years, there has been a general top 10-12 most historians agree on: Lincoln, FDR, Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, Wilson, Jackson, Reagan, and James K. Polk. That's right - James K. Polk. This is a major political biography of a great American president who won a war, transformed the government, and doubled the size of the United States...in four years.
When Polk was sworn in as the 11th president, what followed was one of the most consequential presidencies in history. Against his opponents, he unabashedly proclaimed U.S. policy to be one of continental expansion. By the time he left office, Oregon, California, New Mexico, and Texas had been admitted into the Union, and Congress' mandate to wage war was forever rendered a rubber stamp by a transformed and empowered executive branch. True to his word, Polk stepped down after one term.
He remains relatively little known. In fact, no full-length modern biography of Polk has ever been written. Until now.
©2008 Walter Borneman (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

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By Kindle Customer on 10-12-08

Polk: One of our most important Preidents

President James Knox Polk, the man behind "Manifest Destiny" is finally being written about. Walter Borneman does a splendid job in putting down Polk's life story even though it does not have the military flash of a Jackson or a Grant. He does fill in the holes left by the only other Polk history to have come out in the last few years, James K. Polk: 1845-1849, as part of the American Presidents series. It was a very good general information book that was in need of a book like Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America. Read this book. It will go a long way in filling in some of your blanks in American History.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful


By Jean on 03-10-12

Interesting man Jame Polk

I learned a few interesting pearls from this book. Polk said he would only serve one term when he was running for election and he listed items he wish to achieve in the 4 years such as bring into the U.S. Texas, New Mexico territory, California and the Oregon territory. And he did this but had to fight a war with Mexico to achieve it. He also achieved some other items along the way. His wife Sarah had the band play a Scots march at formal occasion whenever Polk arrived at the event. The tune was "Hail to the Chief" and is still played today. The book cover lots of information about the politics of the day and a good overview of how California, Oregon, New Mexico and Texas came into U.S. control. Alan Nebelthau did a good job narrating the story. His life long health problems interest me so I am off to see if I can find out about them. His wife appears to be an interesting first lady I shall get a book about her also.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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