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American Empire

Pdf American Empire
Genre Current Events
Author Andrew J. BACEVICH
Isbn 0674020375
File size 1804 kb
Year 2009-06-30
Pages 312
Language English
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In a challenging, provocative book, Andrew Bacevich reconsiders the assumptions and purposes governing the exercise of American global power. Examining the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton--as well as George W. Bush's first year in office--he demolishes the view that the United States has failed to devise a replacement for containment as a basis for foreign policy. He finds instead that successive post-Cold War administrations have adhered to a well-defined "strategy of openness." Motivated by the imperative of economic expansionism, that strategy aims to foster an open and integrated international order, thereby perpetuating the undisputed primacy of the world's sole remaining superpower. Moreover, openness is not a new strategy, but has been an abiding preoccupation of policymakers as far back as Woodrow Wilson. Although based on expectations that eliminating barriers to the movement of trade, capital, and ideas nurtures not only affluence but also democracy, the aggressive pursuit of openness has met considerable resistance. To overcome that resistance, U.S. policymakers have with increasing frequency resorted to force, and military power has emerged as never before as the preferred instrument of American statecraft, resulting in the progressive militarization of U.S. foreign policy. Neither indictment nor celebration, American Empire sees the drive for openness for what it is--a breathtakingly ambitious project aimed at erecting a global imperium. Large questions remain about that project's feasibility and about the human, financial, and moral costs that it will entail. By penetrating the illusions obscuring the reality of U.S. policy, this book marks an essential first step toward finding the answers. Table of Contents: Preface Introduction 1. The Myth of the Reluctant Superpower 2. Globalization and Its Conceits 3. Policy by Default 4. Strategy of Openness 5. Full Spectrum Dominance 6. Gunboats and Gurkhas 7. Rise of the Proconsuls 8. Different Drummers, Same Drum 9. War for the Imperium Notes Acknowledgments Index Reviews of this book: [A] straightforward "critical interpretation of American statecraft in the 1990s"...he is straightforward, too, in establishing where he stands on the political spectrum about US foreign policy...Bacevich insists that there are no differences in the key assumptions governing the foreign policy of the administrations of Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II--and this will certainly be the subject of passionate debate...Bacevich's argument persuades...by means of engaging prose as well as the compelling and relentless accumulation of detail...Bring[s] badly needed [perspective] to troubled times. --James A. Miller, Boston Globe Reviews of this book: For everyone there's Andrew Bacevich's American Empire, an intelligent, elegantly written, highly convincing polemic that demonstrates how the motor of US foreign policy since independence has been the need to guarantee economic growth. --Dominick Donald, The Guardian Reviews of this book: Andrew Bacevich's remarkably clear, cool-headed, and enlightening book is an expression of the United States' unadmitted imperial primacy. It's as bracing as a plunge into a clear mountain lake after exposure to the soporific internationalist conventional wisdom...Bacevich performs an invaluable service by restoring missing historical context and perspective to today's shallow, hand-wringing discussion of Sept. 11...Bacevich's brave, intelligent book restores our vocabulary to debate anew the United States' purpose in the world. --Richard J. Whalen, Across the Board Reviews of this book: To say that Andrew Bacevich's American Empire is a truly realistic work of realism is therefore to declare it not only a very good book, but also a pretty rare one. The author, a distinguished former soldier, combines a tough-minded approach to the uses of military force with a grasp of American history that is both extremely knowledgeable and exceptionally clear-sighted. This book is indispensable for anyone who wants to understand the background to U.S. world hegemony at the start of the 21st century; and it is also a most valuable warning about the dangers into which the pursuit and maintenance of this hegemony may lead America. --Anatol Levin, Washington Monthly Reviews of this book: American Empire is an immensely thoughtful book. Its reflections go beyond the narrow realm of U.S. security policy and demonstrate a deep understanding of American history and culture. --David Hastings Dunn, Political Studies Review I have long suspected our nation's triumphs and trials owed much to the American genius for solipsism and self-deception. Bacevich has convinced me of it by holding up a mirror to self-styled idealists and realists alike. Read all the books you want about the post-Cold War, post-9/11 world, just be sure American Empire is one of them. --Walter A. McDougall, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, University of Pennsylvania This deeply informed, impressive polemical book is precisely what Americans, in and outside of the academy, needed before 9/11 and need now even more. Crisp, lively, biting prose will help them enjoy it. Among its many themes are hubris, hegemony, and the fatuousness of claims by the American military that they can now achieve 'transparency' in war-making. --Michael S. Sherry, Northwestern University The United States could not possibly have an empire, Americans think. But we do. And with verve and telling insight Andrew Bacevich shows how it works and what it means. --Ronald Steel, author of Temptations of a Superpower: America's Foreign Policy after the Cold War

American Empire

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Genre History
Author Neil Smith
Isbn 9780520931527
File size 506 kb
Year 2003-03-19
Pages 584
Language English
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An American Empire, constructed over the last century, long ago overtook European colonialism, and it has been widely assumed that the new globalism it espoused took us "beyond geography." Neil Smith debunks that assumption, offering an incisive argument that American globalism had a distinct geography and was pieced together as part of a powerful geographical vision. The power of geography did not die with the twilight of European colonialism, but it did change fundamentally. That the inauguration of the American Century brought a loss of public geographical sensibility in the United States was itself a political symptom of the emerging empire. This book provides a vital geographical-historical context for understanding the power and limits of contemporary globalization, which can now be seen as representing the third of three distinct historical moments of U.S. global ambition. The story unfolds through a decisive account of the career of Isaiah Bowman (1878–1950), the most famous American geographer of the twentieth century. For nearly four decades Bowman operated around the vortex of state power, working to bring an American order to the global landscape. An explorer on the famous Machu Picchu expedition of 1911 who came to be known first as "Woodrow Wilson’s geographer," and later as Frankin D. Roosevelt’s, Bowman was present at the creation of U.S. liberal foreign policy. A quarter-century later, Bowman was at the center of Roosevelt’s State Department, concerned with the disposition of Germany and heightened U.S. access to European colonies; he was described by Dean Acheson as a key "architect of the United Nations." In that period he was a leader in American science, served as president of Johns Hopkins University, and became an early and vociferous cold warrior. A complicated, contradictory, and at times controversial figure who was very much in the public eye, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Bowman’s career as a geographer in an era when the value of geography was deeply questioned provides a unique window into the contradictory uses of geographical knowledge in the construction of the American Empire. Smith’s historical excavation reveals, in broad strokes yet with lively detail, that today's American-inspired globalization springs not from the 1980s but from two earlier moments in 1919 and 1945, both of which ended in failure. By recharting the geography of this history, Smith brings the politics—and the limits—of contemporary globalization sharply into focus.

How to Hide an Empire

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Genre History
Author Daniel Immerwahr
Isbn 0374715122
File size 1944 kb
Year 2019-02-19
Pages 528
Language English
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Named one of the ten best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune A Publishers Weekly best book of 2019 | A 2019 NPR Staff Pick A pathbreaking history of the United States’ overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empire We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories—the islands, atolls, and archipelagos—this country has governed and inhabited? In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century’s most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress. In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.

American Empire

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Genre Political Science
Author Christopher Layne,Bradley A. Thayer
Isbn 1135928428
File size 1637 kb
Year 2006-11-06
Pages 160
Language English
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In this short, accessible book Layne and Thayer argue the merits and demerits of an American empire. With few, if any, rivals to its supremacy, the United States has made an explicit commitment to maintaining and advancing its primacy in the world. But what exactly are the benefits of American hegemony and what are the costs and drawbacks for this fledgling empire? After making their best cases for and against an American empire, subsequent chapters allow both authors to respond to the major arguments presented by their opponents and present their own counter arguments.

The State of the American Empire

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Genre Political Science
Author Stephen Burman
Isbn 1134037619
File size 1349 kb
Year 2013-10-31
Pages 136
Language English
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As the USA's domination of world affairs meets ever-widening international resentment, this revealing interrogation of America's global footprint explores the complexities of its impact on the world. Covering a wide range of topics - from Wall Street to the War on Terror - The State of the American Empire traces the USA's attempts to balance national interest and global responsibility. It measures America's true effect on world trade and security, locates sites of resistance and levels of antagonism, and, looking ahead, considers the sustainability of its imperial role. With full-colour maps and graphics, this is an essential resource for understanding America's power around the world.

America, The Farewell Tour

Pdf America, The Farewell Tour
Genre History
Author Chris Hedges
Isbn 0735275963
File size 1467 kb
Year 2018-08-21
Pages 320
Language English
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If you thought you knew Chris Hedges--be surprised. The globally renowned Pulitzer Prize-winner gives us an entirely new view of a nation in crisis in a stunning book that holds both liberals and conservatives to account--as rousingly pertinent for Canada as for the disoriented US. Beautifully written, it clarifies vividly and unforgettably the forces at play in our times. In astonishing, tough, first-hand reportage, Chris Hedges draws on stories from inside communities across America and reveals how the hurricanes of change have allowed an array of pathologies to arise: the opioid crisis, the retreat into gambling, the corporate coup d'état of government, the pornification of culture, the rise of magical thinking, the emboldening of violence and hate, the plagues of suicides, and the global upheaval caused by catastrophic climate change. These are just some of the physical manifestations of a society unravelling. Such ills presage a frightening reconfiguration of our lives--particularly in the face of our neighbour's degeneration as a world power. Donald Trump rode this disenchantment to power. Hedges--who was unsurprised by Trump's victory--shows how neither the left nor the right are addressing the systemic problems. Until the corporate coup d'état is reversed, these diseases will grow and ravage the country. A humane cry for a decent future, this remarkable book is our wake-up call to reality.

American Empire

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Genre History
Author Joshua Freeman
Isbn 1101583770
File size 1257 kb
Year 2012-08-02
Pages 544
Language English
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A compelling look at the movements and developments that propelled America to world dominance In this landmark work, acclaimed historian Joshua Freeman has created an epic portrait of a nation both galvanized by change and driven by conflict. Beginning in 1945, the economic juggernaut awakened by World War II transformed a country once defined by its regional character into a uniform and cohesive power and set the stage for the United States’ rise to global dominance. Meanwhile, Freeman locates the profound tragedy that has shaped the path of American civic life, unfolding how the civil rights and labor movements worked for decades to enlarge the rights of millions of Americans, only to watch power ultimately slip from individual citizens to private corporations. Moving through McCarthyism and Vietnam, from the Great Society to Morning in America, Joshua Freeman’s sweeping story of a nation’s rise reveals forces at play that will continue to affect the future role of American influence and might in the greater world.

American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance

Pdf American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance
Genre Political Science
Author L. Panitch,M. Konings
Isbn 0230227678
File size 1117 kb
Year 2008-07-24
Pages 334
Language English
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In a lively critique of how international and comparative political economy misjudge the relationship between global markets and states, this book demonstrates the central place of the American state in today's world of globalized finance. The contributors set aside traditional emphases on military intervention, looking instead to economics.

Imperial Ambitions

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Genre Political Science
Author Noam Chomsky,David Barsamian
Isbn 9781429980814
File size 1465 kb
Year 2010-04-01
Pages 240
Language English
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In this first collection of interviews since the bestselling 9-11, our foremost intellectual activist examines crucial new questions of U.S. foreign policy Timely, urgent, and powerfully elucidating, this important volume of previously unpublished interviews conducted by award-winning radio journalist David Barsamian features Noam Chomsky discussing America's policies in an increasingly unstable world. With his famous insight, lucidity, and redoubtable grasp of history, Chomsky offers his views on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the doctrine of "preemptive" strikes against so-called rogue states, and the prospects of the second Bush administration, warning of the growing threat to international peace posed by the U.S. drive for domination. In his inimitable style, Chomsky also dissects the propaganda system that fabricates a mythic past and airbrushes inconvenient facts out of history. Barsamian, recipient of the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, has conducted more interviews and radio broadcasts with Chomsky than has any other journalist. Enriched by their unique rapport, Imperial Ambitions explores topics Chomsky has never before discussed, among them the 2004 presidential campaign and election, the future of Social Security, and the increasing threat, including devastating weather patterns, of global warming. The result is an illuminating dialogue with one of the leading thinkers of our time—and a startling picture of the turbulent times in which we live.

The War on Terrorism and the American 'Empire' after the Cold War

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Genre Political Science
Author Alejandro Colas,Richard Saull
Isbn 1134258275
File size 1938 kb
Year 2007-04-11
Pages 208
Language English
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This new study shows how the American-led ‘war on terror’ has brought about the most significant shift in the contours of the international system since the end of the Cold War. A new ‘imperial moment’ is now discernible in US foreign policy in the wake of the neo-conservative rise to power in the USA, marked by the development of a fresh strategic doctrine based on the legitimacy of preventative military strikes on hostile forces across any part of the globe. Key features of this new volume include: * an alternative, critical take on contemporary US foreign policy * a timely, accessible overview of critical thinking on US foreign policy, imperialism and war on terror * the full spectrum of critical view sin a single volume * many of these essays are now ‘contemporary classics’ The essays collected in this volume analyse the historical, socio-economic and political dimensions of the current international conjuncture, and assess the degree to which the war on terror has transformed the nature and projection of US global power. Drawing on a range of critical social theories, this collection seeks to ground historically the analysis of global developments since the inception of the new Bush Presidency and weigh up the political consequences of this imperial turn. This book will be of great interest for all students of US foreign policy, contemporary international affairs, international relations and politics.

A People's History of American Empire

Pdf A People's History of American Empire
Genre History
Author Howard Zinn,Mike Konopacki,Paul Buhle
Isbn 1466837187
File size 918 kb
Year 2008-04-01
Pages 288
Language English
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Adapted from the bestselling grassroots history of the United States, the story of America in the world, told in comics form Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People's History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with their emphasis on great men in high places to chronicle events as they were lived, from the bottom up. Now Howard Zinn, historian Paul Buhle, and cartoonist Mike Konopacki have collaborated to retell, in vibrant comics form, a most immediate and relevant chapter of A People's History: the centuries-long story of America's actions in the world. Narrated by Zinn, this version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of U.S. expansionism from Wounded Knee to Iraq, stopping along the way at World War I, Central America, Vietnam, and the Iranian revolution. The book also follows the story of Zinn, the son of poor Jewish immigrants, from his childhood in the Brooklyn slums to his role as one of America's leading historians. Shifting from world-shattering events to one family's small revolutions, A People's History of American Empire presents the classic ground-level history of America in a dazzling new form.

The Rise and Decline of the American "Empire"

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Genre Political Science
Author Geir Lundestad
Isbn 0191641006
File size 1738 kb
Year 2012-03-08
Pages 222
Language English
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The Rise and Decline of the American "Empire" explores the rapidly growing literature on the rise and fall of the United States. The author argues that after 1945 the US has definitely been the most dominant power the world has seen and that it has successfully met the challenges from, first, the Soviet Union and, then, Japan, and the European Union. Now, however, the United States is in decline: its vast military power is being challenged by asymmetrical wars, its economic growth is slow and its debt is rising rapidly, the political system is proving unable to meet these challenges in a satisfactory way. While the US is still likely to remain the world's leading power for the foreseeable future, it is being challenged by China, particularly economically, and also by several other regional Great Powers. The book also addresses the more theoretical question of what recent superpowers have been able to achieve and what they have not achieved. How could the United States be both the dominant power and at the same time suffer significant defeats? And how could the Soviet Union suddenly collapse? No power has ever been omnipotent. It cannot control events all around the world. The Soviet Union suffered from imperial overstretch; the traditional colonial empires suffered from a growing lack of legitimacy at the international, national, and local levels. The United States has been able to maintain its alliance system, but only in a much reformed way. If a small power simply insists on pursuing its own very different policies, there is normally little the United States and other Great Powers will do. Military intervention is an option that can be used only rarely and most often with strikingly limited results.

Capitalism, The American Empire, and Neoliberal Globalization

Pdf Capitalism, The American Empire, and Neoliberal Globalization
Genre Philosophy
Author Kenneth E. Bauzon
Isbn 9813290803
File size 1751 kb
Year 2019-11-11
Pages 304
Language English
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This book looks at facets in the history of capitalism from the Enlightenment period, through the emergence of the American Empire in the Pacific, and to the contemporary era of neoliberal globalization. This re-telling of history is done by drawing from the works of E. San Juan, Jr. (henceforth, San Juan), considered arguably one of the great contemporary cultural and literary critics of our time. In this author's view, San Juan's lifetime of works offer a living documentation of, among others, the history and thought of the modern world highlighted by the rise of capitalism through the contemporary era of neoliberal globalization, and shepherded to its hegemonic status by what stands today as the preeminent empire of the United States. The book underscores the symbiosis between contemporary capitalism as an economic system based on accumulation on the one hand, and the American imperial state on the other, just as it revisits the colonial project that was carried out in capitalism's wake, the violence and subjugation inflicted on its victims, and how this colonial project has morphed into a new form of colonialism (or neocolonialism) maintained and enforced through the rules and institutional mechanisms of what is popularly known as neoliberal globalization that also provides the ideological and legal rationale for the commodification and the ultimate grab of the global commons reminiscent of the classical, albeit cruder, form of colonialism.

America As Empire

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Genre Political Science
Author James Garrison
Isbn 1609943155
File size 1060 kb
Year 2004-01-01
Pages 240
Language English
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In America as Empire, Jim Garrison urges us to face up to the complexities and responsibilities inherent in the indisputable fact that America is now the world's single preeminent power. "America", Garrison writes, "has become what it was founded not to be: established as a haven for those fleeing the abuse of power, it has attained and now wields near absolute power. It has become an empire." Garrison traces the roots of the American empire to the very beginnings of the republic, in particular to the historic willingness of United States' to use military might in the defense of two consistent --- if sometimes contradictory --- foreign policy objectives: protection of American commercial interests and promotion of democracy. How long can the American empire last? Garrison looks at American history within the context of the rise and fall of empires and argues that the U. S. can gain important insights into durability from the Romans. He details the interplay between military power, political institutions, and legal structures that enabled the Roman empire at it's apogee to last for longer than America has as a country. But the real question is, what kind of empire can and should America be? As the sole superpower, America must lead in shaping a new global order, just as after World War II Roosevelt and Truman took the lead in shaping a new international order. That international order is now crumbling under the pressures of globalization, persistent poverty, terrorism and fundamentalism. Garrison outlines the kinds of cooperative global structures America must promote if its empire is to leave a lasting legacy of greatness. Garrison calls for Americans to consciously see themselves as a transitional empire, one whose task is not to dominate but to catalyze the next generation of global governance mechanisms that would make obsolete the need for empire. If this is done, America could be the final empire.

The Future of U.S. Empire in the Americas

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Genre Political Science
Author Timothy M. Gill
Isbn 0429756909
File size 1672 kb
Year 2020-02-28
Pages 354
Language English
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With the rise of President Trump, many are coming to question where the United States (U.S.) is headed and, whether we might witness an imperial decline under Trump. Social scientists largely recognize the contemporary hegemonic position of the U.S. at the global level, but questions persist concerning the future of the U.S. Empire. With the Trump Administration at the helm, these questions are all the more salient. Drawing on the expertise of a panel of contributors and guided by Michael Mann’s model of power, this book critically interrogates the future of U.S. global power and provides insights on what we might expect from the U.S. Empire under Trump. Recognizing that U.S. imperial power involves an array of sources of power (ideological, economic, military, and political), the contributors analyze the Trump Administration’s approach towards nine countries in the Western Hemisphere, and five sets of global policies, including inter-American relations, drugs, trade, the environment, and immigration. Each case presents a historical look at the trajectory of relations as they have developed under Trump and what we might expect in the future from the administration. The Future of U.S. Empire in the Americas will be of great interest to students and scholars of U.S. foreign policy, Foreign Policy Analysis, political sociology, and American politics.

Blowback

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Genre Political Science
Author Chalmers Johnson
Isbn 1429928115
File size 1063 kb
Year 2001-01-23
Pages 288
Language English
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An explosive account of the resentments American policies are sowing around the world and of the payback that will be our harvest in the twenty-first century. Blowback, a term invented by the CIA, refers to the uninted consequences of American policies. In this sure-to-be-controversial book, Chalmers Johnson lays out in vivid detail the dangers faced by our overextended empire, which insists on projecting its military power to every corner of the earth and using American capital and markets to force global economic integration on its own terms. From a case of rape by U.S. servicemen in Okinawa to our role in Asia's financial crisis, from our early support for Saddam Hussein to our actions in the Balkans, Johnson reveals the ways in which our misguided policies are planting the seeds of future disaster. In the wake of the Cold War, the United States has imprudently expanded the commitments it made over the previous forty years, argues Johnson. In Blowback, he issues a warning we would do well to consider: it is time for our empire to demobilize before our bills come due.

Imperial Metropolis

Pdf Imperial Metropolis
Genre History
Author Jessica M. Kim
Isbn 1469651351
File size 1584 kb
Year 2019-08-09
Pages 304
Language English
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In this compelling narrative of capitalist development and revolutionary response, Jessica M. Kim reexamines the rise of Los Angeles from a small town to a global city against the backdrop of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Gilded Age economics, and American empire. It is a far-reaching transnational history, chronicling how Los Angeles boosters transformed the borderlands through urban and imperial capitalism at the end of the nineteenth century and how the Mexican Revolution redefined those same capitalist networks into the twentieth. Kim draws on archives in the United States and Mexico to argue that financial networks emerging from Los Angeles drove economic transformations in the borderlands, reshaped social relations across wide swaths of territory, and deployed racial hierarchies to advance investment projects across the border. However, the Mexican Revolution, with its implicit critique of imperialism, disrupted the networks of investment and exploitation that had structured the borderlands for sixty years, and reconfigured transnational systems of infrastructure and trade. Kim provides the first history to connect Los Angeles's urban expansionism with more continental and global currents, and what results is a rich account of real and imagined geographies of city, race, and empire.

Deadly Contradictions

Pdf Deadly Contradictions
Genre Social Science
Author Stephen P. Reyna
Isbn 1785330802
File size 553 kb
Year 2016-08-01
Pages 668
Language English
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As US imperialism continues to dictate foreign policy, Deadly Contradictions is a compelling account of the American empire. Stephen P. Reyna argues that contemporary forms of violence exercised by American elites in the colonies, client state, and regions of interest have deferred imperial problems, but not without raising their own set of deadly contradictions. This book can be read many ways: as a polemic against geopolitics, as a classic social anthropological text, or as a seminal analysis of twenty-four US global wars during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras.

The American Empire

Pdf The American Empire
Genre Imperialism
Author Scott Nearing
Isbn 1465602593
File size 912 kb
Year 1921
Pages 266
Language English
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America, Empire of Liberty

Pdf America, Empire of Liberty
Genre History
Author David Reynolds
Isbn 0465020054
File size 437 kb
Year 2009-10-06
Pages 592
Language English
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It was Thomas Jefferson who envisioned the United States as a great “empire of liberty.” This paradoxical phrase may be the key to the American saga: How could the anti-empire of 1776 became the world's greatest superpower? And how did the country that offered unmatched liberty nevertheless found its prosperity on slavery and the dispossession of Native Americans? In this new single-volume history spanning the entire course of US history—from 1776 through the election of Barack Obama—prize-winning historian David Reynolds explains how tensions between empire and liberty have often been resolved by faith—both the evangelical Protestantism that has energized American politics for centuries and the larger faith in American righteousness that has driven the country's expansion. Written with verve and insight, Empire of Liberty brilliantly depicts America in all of its many contradictions.