Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The War with Mexico - Winner, Non-Fiction, 1920

The War with Mexico, 2 Vols.
By: Justin H. Smith
Macmillan, 1919

Wow. What can I say about this book... I hate to be harsh, but I hated it. It was pure torture to me. Now, this probably says nothing about the quality of the book (it did win a Pulitzer) but probably more about my own immaturity. The history of wars is my least favorite part of history. Tell me about society during the war and I am all ears. This book, in 2 volumes, gives every single detail you could ever imagine about the 2 year Mexican-American War. I did read all of volume 1 and part of volume 2, and after that it was due at the library with no renewals (it was actually from interlibrary loan, so there was definitely no renewal option). So, I gave up.

I you happen to be writing a research paper on the Mexican-American War, this book would provide you with a ton of information. It is also interesting to read books written about war before the tendency to revisionist history. Smith does gift credit to the Mexicans for some of the good things they did, but he never misses a chance to point out how generally lazy and corrupt they all were. These were to times when there were no politically correct ways to say things, and one has to remember that when reading anything from this period. There is no modern filter. They say some highly offensive things that were normal then, so keep that in mind.

1 comment:

RC said...

Well since i'm not writing a paper on the Mexican-American War...i'll stay away from vol. 1 and 2.

i'm sure you'd pull some funny quotes out of the book that today would be in very poor taste indeed.