From Pulitzer-winning social historian Kluger comes a reinterpretation of American history, a sweeping chronicle of how Americans extended their sovereignty from the Atlantic coastline to the mid-Pacific in the first 125 years of their national existence. The story reveals great accomplishments along with the American tendency to confuse success with heaven-sent entitlement. The nation's pioneer generations were blessed with remarkable energy, fortitude, and boundless faith in their own prowess. They were also grasping opportunists who justified their often brutal aggression by demeaning the humanity of nonwhites. These visionary nation-builders proclaimed earnestly, if not innocently, their own rectitude to be the force behind the heroic "taming" of the wilderness and saw in this triumph the hand of Providence. Their good fortune was thus transformed into a mission of entitlement--their "manifest destiny," as they began calling it well after the process was under way.--From publisher description.