Believing that ""the correct causes of the struggle, and the stories of its battles and leaders have been obscured"" by criticism of the American position--primarily by the abolitionists, Col. Reeder presents a cogent account of personalities and advancing conflict which is less controversial than his intent would suggest. This is largely a military history, well documented and chiefly consonant with current scholarship in its interpretation of primary sources; where it differs is in the assessment of ""blame"" for the inception of war, which is mostly a matter of values, morality vis a vis aspirations. Col. Reeder obviously aligns himself with the latter, but the reader is free to differ. The author's chief interest is in the role of each of the significant American officers, and he devotes more attention to them than do Werstein or the editors of American Heritage in their histories; the latter covers the Mexican political situation more thoroughly, the former places the war in a broader context and is the best all-around history. Whether you need this also is problematic; it is a readable book for boys receptive to rough-hewn heroes, with plentiful examples of their ragged prose.