A book review from The Movie Snob.
Kearny’s March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847, by Winston Groom (Alfred A. Knopf 2011). This book of popular history is not really my usual fare, but I saw a good review of it somewhere and then saw it on sale somewhere else. It is an interesting read, mainly about the Mexican-American War and the conquest of New Mexico and California by the United States. There are, as the title suggests, heroic marches across unforgiving wilderness, and also a few pitched battles that Groom describes in some detail. I was mainly struck by how few combatants seemed to be involved in the battles—the clashing armies seldom seemed to contain more than a couple thousand men, and sometime only a few hundred. Groom also gives a thumbnail sketch of what happened to the infamous Donner party (the band of settlers that got stuck in the mountains trying to get to California and wound up turning cannibal). I thought it was a good book.