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Saturday, April 21, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: The Mexican-American War by in60learning (Nonfiction)

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Greetings Friends!

Today, I have something a little different! A few months ago, I was contacted by the in60Learning team to review a title from their collection. But then, spring sprung in Texas, and it's just a miserable time for everyone, especially when you have three young children!


It ended up taking me a lot longer to get the chance to write a review, and then it occurred to me to put it together with San Jacinto Day, which is today, April 21!  This is a day that Texans proudly celebrate and commemorate the Battle of San Jacinto, the final battle of the Texas Revolution in which Texas won its independence from Mexico. This is a state holiday, and at the monument, there is a festival that also includes a battle reenactment! Check out the Facebook page for some great photos and you can find more information about this year's events HERE.

While the Battle of San Jacinto and the Mexican-American War are not on the same timeline, the Mexican-American War would not have happened without the Battle of San Jacinto. And interestingly enough, the San Jacinto Museum of History is presenting a virtual gallery of the watercolors of Samuel Chamberlain, a soldier and artist in the Mexican-American War, which you can view HERE.  

It's a great day to be a Texan, but it's also important to remember and reflect on our history.


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SYNOPSIS


The conflict lasted less than two years, but the repercussions shook both nations for much longer. Having already lost Texas, the still newly independent Mexico was unprepared to defend their northern territories. The U.S. plowed forward through to California with a sense of manifest destiny. While the U.S. fought to gain more land, however, the war splintered the North and South; many Americans saw the war as an unjust theft of Mexican land and knew that the South’s reliance on slave labor would further establish this divisive injustice in America. While the U.S. won this war, this short history reveals how the division it sowed among its people led to the Civil War, the bloodiest conflict in American history. 

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RATING



Genre:  Non-fiction
Publication Date:  January 2018


REVIEW


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

As a Native Texan with an above average understanding of my state's history as well as a having a husband with a history degree, I figured I could adequately give justice to this title. At 36 pages, this selection is easily readable in one sitting. While not the definitive source, it definitely provides clear and concise information on the subject matter that both scholars and casual readers will appreciate. The writing is informative without being overwhelming, dry, or monotonous in its presentation, allowing readers to stay engaged throughout the learning experience. As audiobook editions are not currently available, I would love the opportunity to listen to one of those titles to determine whether the narrator can effectively captivate listeners with the material just as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this overview of a period important to Texas history. From a refresher to an introduction on the topic, I can see these titles having multiple and important uses for any type of reader, including younger audiences. These would also be great supplemental resources for use while reading historical fiction or any other moment in history that you find interesting and simply don't have  the time to spend looking for books much less reading a tome. Additionally, for the level of information provided, the price point is unbeatable!

My only complaint, and a small one at that, is the lack of a timeline or map to provide visual reference as well as a useful guide to the text.

Overall, this was a well-written title within a series that I can definitely see myself turning to for future historical perspectives and I hope that I've convinced you enough to read one yourself!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Get smarter in just 60 minutes with in60Learning. Concise and elegantly written non-fiction books and audiobooks help you learn the core subject matter in 20% of the time that it takes to read a typical book. Life is short, so explore a multitude of fascinating historical, biographical, scientific, political, and financial topics in only an hour each.

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Many thanks to Tyler and the in60Learning team! It was an absolute pleasure reading and reviewing a title in their collection!

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