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
“Greenberg’s probing account of this war reveals its drama - and its very modern complexity.”(Publishers Weekly)
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.
Enlightening historical drama
Unique perspectives from well known figures in our country's history
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.
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.
nothing narrated by Caroline Shaffer her style is terrible
Really did not have a favorite character. Santana was a poor leader.
voice, tone, theatrical attempts poor. The narration detracted from the enjoyment so much that I quit before the end and read the book.
read the book rather than listen to that woman
I enjoyed this book, but in some ways it's focus on such a large number of historical figures hurts it rather than helps it. The clear idea behind it is to give many accounts and through that to lend perspective to the war that was and is so controversial. Yet in many cases it felt the narrative pace was like an old car, sputtering and then lurching forward more than you would like.
My other small gripe is that there is a clear authorial bias to the choices in the narrative structure. What I mean by that is the book lingers on the negative aspects of a situation when it's a person the author is clearly trying to dress down, and brushes past similar negative aspects when it's a figure the author wishes to place in high regard in the reader's mind.
These aspects aside, the book is interesting, the story it tells is significant, and the performance is great. I haven't heard Shaffer before but she has a strong voice and a great pacing to her dialogue, I'll definitely be looking for more from her.
From Amy S. Greenberg yes. From Caroline Shaffer no way ever.
Battle Cry of Freedom but not as detailed. It's a good narrative of the Mexican war which is all but forgotten in history.
Different Narrator. This lady is by far the worst narrator I've listen to in the few years of my membership. Her terrible fake overdone attempt at portraying a Southern accent pierced my spine and I found it rather demeaning to those of Southern heritage. She stands firmly in the way of the message from an informative work. If Ms. Shaffer wishes to be an audio actress then she should do audio drama not narrative reading.
It's a historical perspective I would cut no one.
I can't overemphasise what a terrible job Ms. Shaffer did on this narration. Read the book and nix the audio acting. She damaged an otherwise good book.
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.
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.
Audible listener since 1995. Former labor and community organizer. Originally from Texas. Now at home in San Miguel de Alende, Mexico.
I was very motivated to learn about the topic. Otherwise, I could never have made it through the narration.
The story yes. Not the listen.
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.
In better hands, a very compelling story. Just do not let this author do the screenplay.
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.
On level 5 of Robot Hell
Greed, Lies, Racism.
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.
No it is far too long for one sitting.
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.
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