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William GrimesMr. Kluger, the author of Ashes to Ashes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the American tobacco industry, and Simple Justice, a study of the Supreme Court, revisits the primal American story and strips it of romance. The peopling of the American continent by European settlers, rather than a grand pageant, is presented as a series of land deals, parsed and analyzed in great detail. Boundary lines, maps and greed lie behind the lofty rhetoric of manifest destiny and divine providence, which, in so many cases, boiled down to the minutiae of meandering rivers, surveying errors, obscure historical claims and disputed fishing rights.
—The New York Times