An expert, lively, gracefully written account of America's most costly and ignored war. Author of The Bitter Woods (1969) and Allies (1982), military-historian Eisenhower is the son of the late president. Whether the hope of inspiring affection between Mexico and the US through better history is accomplished by this book remains to be seen. But it cannot hurt to have a good military mind take in hand in one volume almost all the range of factors in this remarkably bloody and disease-ridden conflict and to do so in an ironic and balanced manner. No crucial personality on either side is obscured, and the war is treated in its own right rather than as a scene in prelude to the later glories of Grant and Lee. Appropriations of guilt--Mexican corruption, American imperial provocation, etc.--are reasonable and mercifully brief. Most of the dullnesses of campaign narratives are nimbly avoided, and previous writings, both primary and other, fittingly adorn it. A more-than-military history, Eisenhower's accessible work is a useful addition to other accounts of this very strange war.