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markk

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The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia, Volume 1: The Socialist Offensive: The Collectivisation of Soviet Agriculture, 1929-1930
Robert William Davies
Progress: 116/512 pages
The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
Progress: 219/928 pages
Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888
John C. G. Röhl
Progress: 229/1016 pages
A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent - Robert W. Merry Robert W. Merry’s book is a study of America’s 11th president within the context of the issue that dominated his presidency. Nominated based on his clear support for annexing Texas, by the time he left office he had added 600,000 square miles of territory to the nation’s boundaries. Merry provides a good narrative that describes the travails and triumphs involved in this. Yet periodically throughout the book Merry shifts his account to tangential matters, as though he wanted to broaden it into a more straightforward biographical account. This takes attention away from his ostensible focus, yet does not provide the complete treatment that Polk deserves. By trying to achieve both goals, Merry offers an interesting and readable study of Polk and American expansionism that nonetheless comes up a little bit short in satisfying readers desiring to know more about either topic.