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Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

by

Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Is America an empire? Certainly not, according to our government. Despite the conquest of two sovereign states in as many years, despite the presence of more than 750 military installations in two thirds of the world's countries and despite his stated intention "to extend the benefits of freedom...to every corner of the world," George W. Bush maintains that "America has never been an empire." "We don't seek empires," insists Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "We're not imperialistic."

Nonsense, says Niall Ferguson. In Colossus he argues that in both military and economic terms America is nothing less than the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Just like the British Empire a century ago, the United States aspires to globalize free markets, the rule of law, and representative government. In theory it's a good project, says Ferguson. Yet Americans shy away from the long-term commitments of manpower and money that are indispensable if rogue regimes and failed states really are to be changed for the better. Ours, he argues, is an empire with an attention deficit disorder, imposing ever more unrealistic timescales on its overseas interventions. Worse, it's an empire in denial — a hyperpower that simply refuses to admit the scale of its global responsibilities. And the negative consequences will be felt at home as well as abroad. In an alarmingly persuasive final chapter Ferguson warns that this chronic myopia also applies to our domestic responsibilities. When overstretch comes, he warns, it will come from within — and it will reveal that more than just the feet of the American colossus is made of clay.

Review:

"Every page of Colossus is provocative." Ernest May

Review:

"Amid the seemingly endless writings and decisions about 'America as Empire,' the most prominent recent voice is that of Niall Ferguson." Paul Kennedy, New York Review of Books

Review:

"Like his earlier books, Colossus shows off Mr. Ferguson's narrative eacute;lan and his ease in using political, economic and literary references to shore up his arguments about history." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"The erudite and often statistical argument has occasional flashes of wit and may compel liberals to rethink their opposition to intervention, even as it castigates conservatives for their lackluster commitment to nation building." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Discomfiting, highly provocative reading, with ammunition for pro and con alike." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The core argument of the book — that the world needs an American empire that Americans are unable to provide — is provocative but not convincing." Washington Post

Book News Annotation:

Ferguson (history, Harvard U.) argues that the US is an empire, although that's not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, he contends, it is a bad thing that the US is largely not self-conscious of itself as an empire and is therefore unable to learn from the achievements and failures of past empires and is likely to remain non- self-conscious for the foreseeable future. For the new paperbound edition, Ferguson adds a preface defending the work against some of its critics and considering the implications of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq for his thesis.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

While there have been many analyses of American imperialism, few have equaled the breadth or insight of America: From White Settlement to World Hegemony, which was one of the first books to provide a historical perspective on the origins of the American empire.

 

Victor Kiernan, heralded by Edward Said as the “great Scottish historian of empire,” employs a nuanced knowledge of history, literature, and politics in his tracing of the evolution of American power. Far reaching and ambitious in its scope, the book combines accounts of the changing relationship between Native Americans and the white population with readings of the works of key cultural figures such as Melville and Whitman, as well as an analysis of the way in which money and politics became so closely intertwined in American democracy. The result is a compelling account of how the country came to be the dangerous global power that it is today. Brought up-to-date with an afterword by John Trumpbour, research director at Harvard Law School,  this new edition includes a look at America’s ongoing war on terror.  

Synopsis:

Is America an empire? Certainly not, according to our government.and#160;Despite the conquest of two sovereign states in as many years, despite the presence of more than 750 military installations in two thirds of the worldandrsquo;s countries and despite his stated intention "to extend the benefits of freedom...to every corner of the world," George W. Bush maintains that "America has never been an empire." "We donandrsquo;t seek empires," insists Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "Weandrsquo;re not imperialistic."

Nonsense, says Niall Ferguson. In Colossus he argues that in both military and economic terms America is nothing less than the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Just like the British Empire a century ago, the United States aspires to globalize free markets, the rule of law, and representative government. In theory itandrsquo;s a good project, says Ferguson. Yet Americans shy away from the long-term commitments of manpower and money that are indispensable if rogue regimes and failed states really are to be changed for the better. Ours, he argues, is an empire with an attention deficit disorder, imposing ever more unrealistic timescales on its overseas interventions. Worse, itandrsquo;s an empire in denialandmdash;a hyperpower that simply refuses to admit the scale of its global responsibilities. And the negative consequences will be felt at home as well as abroad. In an alarmingly persuasive final chapter Ferguson warns that this chronic myopia also applies to our domestic responsibilities. When overstretch comes, he warns, it will come from withinandmdash;and it will reveal that more than just the feet of the American colossus is made of clay.

About the Author

Niall Ferguson is professor of history at Harvard University, senior research fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, and senior fellow of Stanford University's Hoover Institution. His previous books include The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, The Cash Nexus, and Empire.

Table of Contents

Introduction
    Part I?Rise
  1. The Limits of the American Empire
  2. The Imperialism of Anti-Imperialism
  3. The Civilization of Clashes
  4. Splendid Multilateralism
  5. Part II?Fall?
  6. The Case for Liberal Empire
  7. Going Home or Organizing Hypocrisy
  8. "Impire": Europe Between Brussels and Byzantium
  9. The Closing Door
Conclusion: Looking Homeward
Statistical Appendix
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143034797
Author:
Ferguson, Niall
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Kiernan, Victor
Author:
Trumpbour, John
Author:
Hobsbawm, Eric
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Imperialism
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
United States Foreign relations.
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Subject:
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
Subject:
General History
Edition Description:
New edition
Publication Date:
20050331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w illustrations throughout
Pages:
460
Dimensions:
9 x 5 in
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » US History » 1945 to Present
History and Social Science » US History » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » World History » General

Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.00 In Stock
Product details 460 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143034797 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Every page of Colossus is provocative."
"Review" by , "Amid the seemingly endless writings and decisions about 'America as Empire,' the most prominent recent voice is that of Niall Ferguson."
"Review" by , "Like his earlier books, Colossus shows off Mr. Ferguson's narrative eacute;lan and his ease in using political, economic and literary references to shore up his arguments about history."
"Review" by , "The erudite and often statistical argument has occasional flashes of wit and may compel liberals to rethink their opposition to intervention, even as it castigates conservatives for their lackluster commitment to nation building."
"Review" by , "Discomfiting, highly provocative reading, with ammunition for pro and con alike."
"Review" by , "The core argument of the book — that the world needs an American empire that Americans are unable to provide — is provocative but not convincing."
"Synopsis" by ,
While there have been many analyses of American imperialism, few have equaled the breadth or insight of America: From White Settlement to World Hegemony, which was one of the first books to provide a historical perspective on the origins of the American empire.

 

Victor Kiernan, heralded by Edward Said as the “great Scottish historian of empire,” employs a nuanced knowledge of history, literature, and politics in his tracing of the evolution of American power. Far reaching and ambitious in its scope, the book combines accounts of the changing relationship between Native Americans and the white population with readings of the works of key cultural figures such as Melville and Whitman, as well as an analysis of the way in which money and politics became so closely intertwined in American democracy. The result is a compelling account of how the country came to be the dangerous global power that it is today. Brought up-to-date with an afterword by John Trumpbour, research director at Harvard Law School,  this new edition includes a look at America’s ongoing war on terror.  

"Synopsis" by ,

Is America an empire? Certainly not, according to our government.and#160;Despite the conquest of two sovereign states in as many years, despite the presence of more than 750 military installations in two thirds of the worldandrsquo;s countries and despite his stated intention "to extend the benefits of freedom...to every corner of the world," George W. Bush maintains that "America has never been an empire." "We donandrsquo;t seek empires," insists Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "Weandrsquo;re not imperialistic."

Nonsense, says Niall Ferguson. In Colossus he argues that in both military and economic terms America is nothing less than the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Just like the British Empire a century ago, the United States aspires to globalize free markets, the rule of law, and representative government. In theory itandrsquo;s a good project, says Ferguson. Yet Americans shy away from the long-term commitments of manpower and money that are indispensable if rogue regimes and failed states really are to be changed for the better. Ours, he argues, is an empire with an attention deficit disorder, imposing ever more unrealistic timescales on its overseas interventions. Worse, itandrsquo;s an empire in denialandmdash;a hyperpower that simply refuses to admit the scale of its global responsibilities. And the negative consequences will be felt at home as well as abroad. In an alarmingly persuasive final chapter Ferguson warns that this chronic myopia also applies to our domestic responsibilities. When overstretch comes, he warns, it will come from withinandmdash;and it will reveal that more than just the feet of the American colossus is made of clay.

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