This biography explores the controversies, triumphs, and failures of the presidency of James K. Polk. Sam W. Haynes places Polk's expansionist agenda in both political and social contexts and examines the nature and origins of the expansionist impulse. Paperback, brief, and inexpensive, each of the titles in the Library of American Biography series focuses on a figure whose actions and ideas significantly influenced the course of American History and national life. In addition, each biography relates the life of its subject to the broader themes and developments of the times. This text incorporates the latest scholarship and draws upon the longer, far more extensive studies of Polk's life and times, but makes the story accessible to students in both survey and upper division courses in American history.