FOUR CENTS AN ACRE: The Story of the Louisiana Purchase by Burt Hirschfield

FOUR CENTS AN ACRE: The Story of the Louisiana Purchase

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KIRKUS REVIEW

By the author of 55 Days of Terror, the story of the Boxer Rebellion, (1964 p. 312, J-110) this covers the machinations of the struggling U.S. government of the late 18th and early 19th century to avoid foreign domination. Spain was hungry for empire and Napoleon was literally looking for a New World to conquer. Both saw in the huge tract of land that came to be known as the Louisiana Purchase a chance to expand their colonies and the U.S. wisely feared them as neighbors. Although Mr. Hirschfield gets in all the welter of facts that led to the sale, his anxiety to provide atmosphere results in some banal dialogue and heavily theatrical settings for Napoleon, Talleyrand and other historical figures while lesser knowns blather on at a great rate. A goodly part of this material is also covered in the authoritative biography of Meriwether Lewis which was just published (p. 67, J-31) and which is much better suited to highschool interests and capacities. At the junior high level, the purchase seems to be an event not often covered in either fiction or non-fiction but endlessly in textbook chapters.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1965
Publisher: Messner