The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation in print. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize-winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of prestigious Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. From Colony to Superpower is the only thematic volume commissioned for the series. Here George C. Herring uses foreign relations as the lens through which to tell the story of America's dramatic rise from thirteen disparate colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast to the world's greatest superpower. A sweeping account of United States' foreign relations and diplomacy, this magisterial volume documents America's interaction with other peoples and nations of the world. Herring tells a story of stunning successes and sometimes tragic failures, captured in a fast-paced narrative that illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation, and highlights its ongoing impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. He shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of an "American way" of life. And Herring does all this in a story rich in human drama and filled with epic events. Statesmen such as Benjamin Franklin and Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman and Dean Acheson played key roles in America's rise to world power. But America's expansion as a nation also owes much to the adventurers and explorers, the sea captains, merchants and captains of industry, the missionaries and diplomats, who discovered or charted new lands, developed new avenues of commerce, and established and defended the nation's interests in foreign lands. From the American Revolution to the fifty-year struggle with communism and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, From Colony to Superpower tells the dramatic story of America's emergence as superpower--its birth in revolution, its troubled present, and its uncertain future.
Since the success of the best-selling first edition, the world has remained fascinated with US foreign policy, not least because of the far-reaching consequences of the US led invasion of Iraq. This fully updated textbook follows the events of the past two and a half years including the 2004 presidential campaign, whilst still providing a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of American foreign policy. Chapter headings include: from colony to superpower the post-Cold War decade the role of Congress the media and public opinion the US and terrorism. Examining the administrations of George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, it explains the complex interaction between the institutions of power, the key actors and the non-governmental organizations to give a complete picture of foreign policy. With a complete glossary of terms, this textbook is ideal for those studying American politics or international relations. Companion website available at: www.routledge.com/textbooks/0415358655
The author portrays American participation in the Vietnam War as the logical culmination of the containment policy that began under Harry Truman in the late 1940's. Also his portrayal of the complex challenge that Vietnam posed for the United States and the varied responses it evoked from American people & leaders.
Praised in the New York Times Book Review for its "Herculean power of synthesis," George C. Herring's 2008 From Colony to Superpower has won wide acclaim from critics and readers alike. Years of Peril and Ambition: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1776-1921 is the first volume of a new split paperback edition of that masterwork, making this award-winning title accessible to those with a particular interest in the first half of the United States' history. This first volume of Herring's international narrative charts the rise of the United States from a loose grouping of British colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast of North America into an emerging world power at the end of World War I. It tells an epic story of restless settlers pushing against weak restraints; of explorers, sea captains, adventurers, merchants, and missionaries carrying American ways to new lands. It analyzes countless crises, some resulting in war and others resolved peacefully. Above all, it is the tale of United States' expansion, commercial and political, across the North American continent, into the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean regions, and, economically, worldwide. Herring brings this first segment of America's dramatic emergence as a superpower to a close with the United States' post-World War I rise to the status of the world's most powerful nation, poised -- however unsteadily --for global engagement in what would be called the American Century. Years of Peril and Ambition highlights the ongoing impact of the nation's international affairs on the household names of U.S. history but also on ordinary citizens. Featuring a grand cast of characters, encompassing statesmen and presidents, diplomats and foreigners, and rogues and rascals alike, this fast-paced account illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation.
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
This book offers a major rereading of US foreign policy from Thomas Jefferson's purchase of Louisiana expanse to the Korean War. This period of one hundred and fifty years saw the expansion of the United States from fragile republic to transcontinental giant. David Mayers explores the dissenting voices which accompanied this dramatic ascent, focusing on dissenters within the political and military establishment and on the recurrent patterns of dissent that have transcended particular policies and crises. The most stubborn of these sprang from anxiety over the material and political costs of empire while other strands of dissent have been rooted in ideas of exigent justice, realpolitik, and moral duties existing beyond borders. Such dissent is evident again in the contemporary world when the US occupies the position of preeminent global power. Professor Mayers's study reminds us that America's path to power was not as straightforward as it might now seem.
This volume brings together more than 50 documents which examine foreign policy not only in terms of leaders and states, but also through social movements, cultures, ideas, and images, to provide comprehensive understanding of how Americans have interacted with the wider world since 1898. Draws together over 50 primary documents to give readers a first-hand account of the people and events that shaped the foreign policy of the United States Incorporates documents relating not only to leaders and states, but also to social movements, cultures, ideas, and images Highlights the diverse range of contributors to debates about American foreign policy, from presidents to protesters, students to singers Includes a comprehensive introduction to the subject and headnotes for each document written by the editor, as well as a bibliography for further study
Decades later, the Vietnam War remains a divisive memory for American society. Partisans on all sides still debate why the war was fought, how it could have been better fought, and whether it could have been won at all. In this major study, a noted expert on the war brings a needed objectivity to these debates by examining dispassionately how and why President Lyndon Johnson and his administration conducted the war as they did. Drawing on a wealth of newly released documents from the LBJ Library, including the Tom Johnson notes from the influential Tuesday Lunch Group, George Herring discusses the concept of limited war and how it affected President Johnson's decision making, Johnson's relations with his military commanders, the administration's pacification program of 1965-1967, the management of public opinion, and the "fighting while negotiating" strategy pursued after the Tet Offensive in 1968. The author's in-depth analysis exposes numerous flaws in Johnson's management of the war. In Herring's view, the Johnson administration lacked any overall strategy for conducting the war. No change in approach was ever discussed, despite popular and even administration dissatisfaction with the progress of the war, and no oversight committee coordinated the activities of the military services and various governmental agencies, which were left to follow their own, often conflicting, agendas.
In his last years as president of the United States, an embattled George Washington yearned for a time when his nation would have "the strength of a Giant and there will be none who can make us afraid." At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States seemed poised to achieve a position of world power beyond what even Washington could have imagined. In The American Century and Beyond: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1893-2014, the second volume of a new split paperback edition of the award-winningFrom Colony to Superpower, George C. Herring recounts the rise of the United States from the dawn of what came to be known as the American Century. This fast-paced narrative tells a story of stunning successes and tragic failures, illuminating the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation. Herring shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of the "American way of life." He recounts the United States' domination of the Caribbean and Pacific, its decisive involvement in two world wars, and the eventual victory in the half-century Cold War that left it, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's lone superpower. But the unipolar moment turned out to be stunningly brief. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and the emergence of nations such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China have left the United States in a position that is uncertain at best. A new chapter brings Herring's sweeping narrative up through the Global War on Terror to the present.
In his last years as president of the United States, an embattled George Washington yearned for a time when his nation would have "the strength of a Giant and there will be none who can make us afraid." At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States seemed poised to achieve a position of world power beyond what even Washington could have imagined. In The American Century and Beyond: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1893-2014, the second volume of a new split paperback edition of the award-winning From Colony to Superpower, George C. Herring recounts the rise of the United States from the dawn of what came to be known as the American Century. This fast-paced narrative tells a story of stunning successes and tragic failures, illuminating the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation. Herring shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of the "American way of life." He recounts the United States' domination of the Caribbean and Pacific, its decisive involvement in two world wars, and the eventual victory in the half-century Cold War that left it, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's lone superpower. But the unipolar moment turned out to be stunningly brief. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and the emergence of nations such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China have left the United States in a position that is uncertain at best. A new chapter brings Herring's sweeping narrative up through the Global War on Terror to the present.