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A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico | [Amy S. Greenberg]

A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico

A Wicked War presents the definitive history of the 1846 war between the United States and Mexico - a conflict that turned America into a continental power. Amy Greenberg describes the battles between American and Mexican armies, but also delineates the political battles between Democrats and Whigs - the former led by the ruthless Polk, the latter by the charismatic Henry Clay and a young representative from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln. Greenberg brilliantly recounts this key chapter in the creation of the United States authority and narrative flair.
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Publisher's Summary

A Wicked War presents the definitive history of the 1846 war between the United States and Mexico - a conflict that turned America into a continental power. Amy Greenberg describes the battles between American and Mexican armies, but also delineates the political battles between Democrats and Whigs - the former led by the ruthless Polk, the latter by the charismatic Henry Clay and a young representative from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln. Greenberg brilliantly recounts this key chapter in the creation of the United States with authority and narrative flair.

©2012 Amy Greenberg. (P)2012 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

“Greenberg’s probing account of this war reveals its drama - and its very modern complexity.”(Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (58 )
5 star
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4.0 (55 )
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Story
3.6 (54 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tad Davis 12-08-12
    Tad Davis 12-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The politics of the Mexican war"

    Greenberg has written a lively political history of the Mexican war and the substantial but disorganized opposition to it. Key players include Henry Clay, James K. Polk, Nicholas Trist, and Abraham Lincoln: all deftly characterized with a few well-chosen anecdotes. The military history is covered in broad strokes - for more detail on that, a better choice would be Martin Dugard's Training Ground. But if you want a clear and vivid picture of the machinations that led to the war and to its ultimate conclusion, this is the book for you.

    There are obvious parallels with more recent wars, some of them opposed by many in the US, but Greenberg doesn't hit us over the head with that. Apart from a few somewhat anachronistic references to "embedded journalists," she leaves us to our own conclusions. This is political history, not politicized history.

    Caroline Shaffer's narration is equally lively. At first it seemed discordantly "peppy" to me, but as I got used to her style of delivery, I realized her unflagging energy was keeping me drawn to the story. All in all, I really enjoyed it.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Chino Hills, CA, United States 02-27-13
    Bruce Chino Hills, CA, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story! Distracting Narration"
    Where does A Wicked War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Great book about undiscussed history of the Mexican-American War. Unfortunately the narrator distracts from the story. She over-acts and attempts to speak with voices and accents that seem tortured.


    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 11-19-12
    Brian 11-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book, I learned alot and enjoyed every minut"
    If you could sum up A Wicked War in three words, what would they be?

    Enlightening historical drama


    What did you like best about this story?

    Unique perspectives from well known figures in our country's history


    Any additional comments?

    The only thing I was not a huge fan of was how the narrator spoke with a "mexican" accent when quoting mexicans. It seemed to imbue character to a quotation that may have been taken out of context.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Salinas, Ca, United States 10-05-13
    Neil Salinas, Ca, United States 10-05-13

    ndr

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting history, terrible performance"
    Would you try another book from Amy S. Greenberg and/or Caroline Shaffer?

    nothing narrated by Caroline Shaffer her style is terrible


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Really did not have a favorite character. Santana was a poor leader.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    voice, tone, theatrical attempts poor. The narration detracted from the enjoyment so much that I quit before the end and read the book.


    Did A Wicked War inspire you to do anything?

    read the book rather than listen to that woman


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 04-16-15
    Timothy 04-16-15
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    7
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    "Slanted Historicity"
    What disappointed you about A Wicked War?

    From the very beginning, the bias of the author against America was evident in her choice of words and turn of phrase. Absolutely, America has done it's share of things worthy of recrimination, but let the acts speak for themselves with the facts and let the reader decide whether or not they are justified. I was hoping for more history, and less hyperbole.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Killer Angels: A novel of the Civil War, A Thousand Pieces of Gold, or maybe Band of Brothers.


    What didn’t you like about Caroline Shaffer’s performance?

    The inflected way she read only multiplied the negative aspects of the author. She wasn't exactly whiney, but it definitely made the book harder to listen to.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Wicked War?

    I prefer unabridged books, and would rather have the whole thing, good or ill to better deal with it.


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps James McPherson could be persuaded to write a history of the Mexican American War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bryan Indianapolis, INDIANA, United States 03-20-15
    bryan Indianapolis, INDIANA, United States 03-20-15 Member Since 2015

    I enjoy non fiction almost exclusively and especially love the history of Rome, the conquest of the Americas, and early American history from the founding of the earliest colonial settlements to the Antebellum rise of the United States.

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    "Good story"

    The story itself is fantastic. A lot of the other reviewer's had something to say about readers' accents. They are distracting, however this story is compelling nonetheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Brooklyn, NY United States 12-10-14
    Catherine Brooklyn, NY United States 12-10-14 Member Since 2013

    Audible listener since 1995. Former labor and community organizer. Originally from Texas. Now at home in San Miguel de Alende, Mexico.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unfortunate narration ruins a great story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I was very motivated to learn about the topic. Otherwise, I could never have made it through the narration.


    Would you recommend A Wicked War to your friends? Why or why not?

    The story yes. Not the listen.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Caroline Shaffer’s performances?

    Maybe. It is hard to blame this reader for what seems to be unfortunate editorial decisions, i.e. to have her change voice, accent and volume everytime a different character speaks or, more annoyingly, every time she reads a quote from an original source. What may have been a fairly good story was rendered overly academic and pretentious.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    In better hands, a very compelling story. Just do not let this author do the screenplay.


    Any additional comments?

    Please, please do not rob readers of the chance to experience a good historical story. This is WAAAY too cluttered up with original sources and a very jarring, annoying performance. Just READ the story. Let it speak for itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-23-13
    William Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-23-13 Member Since 2012

    On level 5 of Robot Hell

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pulling back the curtain on American History"
    If you could sum up A Wicked War in three words, what would they be?

    Greed, Lies, Racism.


    Which character – as performed by Caroline Shaffer – was your favorite?

    I do not thing there was a particular character that stood out. Rather she handled a range of different people and accents fairly well. At the beginning I was not sure I liked her handling of accents but as time wore on they seemed to come into their own and were quite enjoyable.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No it is far too long for one sitting.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PeacefulSeeker Santa Barbara, CA United States 05-06-13
    PeacefulSeeker Santa Barbara, CA United States 05-06-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Tour de force."

    This a special combination of amazing historical narrative with the perfect choice of narrator.

    Once again I am outraged at my public miseducation as a child. We lionized a few presidents. I was an adult before I truly discovered Andrew Jackson. I never really bothered with the uninteresting Polk and after Greenberg's work it's clear why. His record hardly supports the jingoism of the fairly tales of childhood pedagogy.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jed Laver 02-09-15
    Jed Laver 02-09-15
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    "A good read"

    A seemingly uncompromising account of the war . Historical and current politics surrounding the war . A good read

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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