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From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776 (Oxford History of the United States)

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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

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 13 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.

Review:

"In this splendidly detailed account, George Herring expertly guides us through the rich and fascinating story of America's foreign relations. This is history on a grand scale, clearly and elegantly rendered." Fredrik Logevall, co-author of A People and a Nation

Review:

"Readers of his work knew that George Herring's review of U.S. foreign policy would be scrupulously fair-minded but may not have anticipated so broad a sweep and so deeply felt an analysis." A. J. Langguth, author of Our Vietnam

Synopsis:

In this installment of the multi-volume Oxford History of the United States, Herring delivers a sweeping account of the United States' foreign relations and diplomacy, which tells the dramatic story of America's emergence as superpower — its birth in revolution, its troubled present, and its uncertain future.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

George C. Herring is Alumni Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Kentucky. A leading authority on U.S. foreign relations, he is the former editor of Diplomatic History and a past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He is the author of America's Longest War, among other books.

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Jvstin, August 23, 2008 (view all comments by Jvstin)
Over the last couple of decades, Oxford University Press has been putting together a history of the United States from a variety of authors, slicing up the history of the Republic in numerous, detailed volumes.

An exception to that pattern, George Herrings FROM COLONY TO SUPERPOWER takes on the entire history of the United States. However, it takes on just one piece of that history, albeit a large one: foreign policy. Herring's volume looks at the U.S.'s relations with other powers from the Revolution straight through to the George W. Bush administration.

His thesis is that America has great ideals in the abstract which it has not always successfully brought in practice to its application of its foreign policy.

Herring brings a comprehensive, considered and balanced approach to the material. While he does have opinions, and certain subjects are clearly more favored than others, Herring takes pains to minimize his point of view.

When Herring does present a strong point of view, however, he infallibly provides in a footnote a source or volume that provides a different point of view. For example, Herring takes issue with the machinations that brought Panama independence from Colombia and gave the US the freedom to create the Panama Canal. And yet, even as he does this, he provides a competing source that exonerates Roosevelt.

Even those Presidents whom Herring seems to disagree politically with are critically evaluated for their contributions, positive and negative, to the narrative of US Foreign Policy. And those Presidents and figures that Herring admires are called out when they failed to live up to their ideals.

This careful balancing of viewpoints and pains to remain non partisan means that, given the breadth of the subject, the book is long. And if the reader is inclined to read more on one particular piece of American Foreign Policy history, there is a bibliographic essay (as opposed to a straight,dry, bibliography) where Herring discusses numerous other volumes for further reading.

The book took me several weeks to savor and digest, however these weeks were worth it. I learned an enormous amount about US Foreign Policy, as if I had taken a college course on the subject. If you have the time and inclination to learn about US Foreign Policy, Herring has created the definitive volume on the subject.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780195078220
Author:
Herring, George C.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Editor:
Woodward, C. Vann
Author:
null, George C.
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Foreign relations
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
United States Foreign relations.
Subject:
History - American
Subject:
US History-General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Oxford History of the United States
Series Volume:
Vol. 11
Publication Date:
20081031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
51 halftones, 30 maps
Pages:
1056
Dimensions:
6.2 x 9.3 x 2.4 in 3.675 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » US History » General

From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776 (Oxford History of the United States) Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.00 In Stock
Product details 1056 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195078220 Reviews:
"Review" by , "In this splendidly detailed account, George Herring expertly guides us through the rich and fascinating story of America's foreign relations. This is history on a grand scale, clearly and elegantly rendered."
"Review" by , "Readers of his work knew that George Herring's review of U.S. foreign policy would be scrupulously fair-minded but may not have anticipated so broad a sweep and so deeply felt an analysis."
"Synopsis" by , In this installment of the multi-volume Oxford History of the United States, Herring delivers a sweeping account of the United States' foreign relations and diplomacy, which tells the dramatic story of America's emergence as superpower — its birth in revolution, its troubled present, and its uncertain future.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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