Kearny’s March (book review)

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.