Polk's Folly is William Polk's captivating investigation of his impressive family tree and of the broader American tale it narrates.
Growing up in Texas in the late 1930s, listening to his grandmother's memories of her childhood amidst the Civil War, Polk became fascinated by tales of his family's engagement in monumental moments of our nation's history. Beginning when Robert Pollok fled Ireland in the 1680s, Polk's saga includes an Indian trader, an early drafter of the Declaration of Independence, one of our greatest presidents, heroes and rascals on both sides of the Civil War, Indian fighters, a World War I diplomat, and Polk's own brother, a journalist who reported on the Nuremberg Trials. Full of stunning detail and based on primary historical documents, Polk's Folly is a grand American chronicle that allows history to include the lives that made it happen.
About the Author
William R. Polk taught at Harvard and was later Professor of History at the University of Chicago, and he is the founder of the Adlai Stevenson Institute. In the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, he was a member of the Policy Planning Council of the State Department. He is the author of eleven books, including Passing Brave and Neighbors and Strangers, a seminal text on foreign affairs. A native of Texas, he now lives in the South of France.
“A spirited, broad-scale saga of an American family we ought to remember.”–The New York Times Book Review
“This lovingly constructed history...evokes...the dynamism of the American past.”–The New Yorker