Mexico

In the bright mestizo tapestry of Mexico’s thirty centuries of civilization, the Indian, the Spanish, and the modern threads interweave—and tangle

About one hundred years ago a roaring hurricane swept along the Mexican border with such fury that it radically changed the course of the Rio Grande—and consequently altered the international boundary. When the storm finally subsided, the village of El Paso, Texas, was about 630 acres larger, and the bawdy little pueblo of Juárez, Mexico, was that many acres smaller. Read more »

How To Make It To The White House Without Really Trying

President Polk, a Democrat, needed a commander to win his war with Mexico, but all the good generals were Whigs. Now, could the winning general steal the Presidency from the party? As a matter of fact, he did.

Destiny and Fate are not, historically speaking, respectable concepts. Yet throughout the war with Mexico, Zachary Taylor’s luck was so uniformly bright that in retrospect it almost seems that some conscious providence, having determined to make him President of the United States, would thereafter let nothing operate to his harm.Read more »

A Record Filled With Sunlight

John Charles Frémont never succeeded in living up to his fame, yet he was one of America’s great explorers

Rolling plains covered with dry bunch grass stretch for miles on every side. Far on the northern horizon lifts an enormous square-topped butte, giving individuality to that quarter of the landscape. Westward, faint in the distance but brought into hard relief as the sun sets, are penciled the snowy peaks of an isolated mountain chain; and close inspection shows that near their base the country dips into a narrow valley, with cottonwoods indicating a stream whose waters are fed by these distant summits.

 
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