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The American Ascendancy: How the United States Gained and Wielded Global Dominanceby Michael H. Hunt
Synopses & Reviews
A simple question lurks amid the considerable controversy created by recent U.S. policy: What road did Americans travel to reach their current global preeminence? Taking the long historical view, Michael Hunt demonstrates that wealth, confidence, and leadership were key elements to America's ascent. In an analytic narrative that illuminates the past rather than indulges in political triumphalism, he provides crucial insights into the country's problematic place in the world today.
Hunt charts America's rise to global power from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to a culminating multilayered dominance achieved in the mid-twentieth century that has led to unanticipated constraints and perplexities over the last several decades. Themes that figure prominently in his account include the rise of the American state and a nationalist ideology and the domestic effects and international spread of consumer society. He examines how the United States remade great power relations, fashioned limits for the third world, and shaped our current international economic and cultural order. Hunt concludes by addressing current issues, such as how durable American power really is and what options remain for America's future. His provocative exploration will engage anyone concerned about the fate of this republic.
About the Author
Michael H. Hunt is Everett H. Emerson Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of nine previous books, including The World Transformed: 1945 to the Present; Lyndon Johnson's War: America's Cold War Crusade in Vietnam, 1945-1968; and Ideology and U.S. Foreign Policy.
Table of Contents
"Compact but still reasonably detailed as well as illuminating. . . . Traces the broad lines of the national experience placing them with knowledge and balance within the context of global transformations."
— Richerche Distoria Politica "Displays an impressive command of the historical literature, an ability to tackle important contemporary questions, and a capacity to make connections about disparate problems in American history. . . . Hunt's informed review of how the U.S. reached its present dilemma will provide a much-needed historical perspective. Policy makers would do well to ponder this sobering record of how a national search for ascendancy can produce as many intractable problems as it solves."
— Register of the Kentucky Historical Society "A provocative book. . . . An impressively argued interpretation."
— The International History Review "A masterly overview of America's rise to its current status. . . . Given this outstanding book's breadth--both its temporal scope and the issues covered--a brief review cannot do it justice."
— The Journal of American History "Hunt is a serious scholar, and there is much to learn from and about his explanation of America's ascendancy. . . . [A] sound study."
— MetroMagazine "Provides crucial insights into the nation's controversial role in the world today and prospects for the durability of U.S. power."
— Carolina Arts & Sciences "[An] engaging history of the United States' rise to global dominance."
—Foreign Affairs "With a fascinating subject and a lively writing style, he offers an important contribution to the current debate about the United States' position in the world."
—Piero Gleijeses, Johns Hopkins University "Michael Hunt does not disappoint."
—Marilyn Young, New York University "Broadly conceived, beautifully organized, lucidly written, and richly documented. . . . Essential."
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