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Dangerous Nation: America's Foreign Policy from Its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century
Dangerous Nation: America's Foreign Policy from Its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century
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Dangerous Nation: America's Foreign Policy from Its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century

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Author: Kagan, Robert

Brand: Vintage

Color: Multicolor

Edition: Reprint

Number Of Pages: 544

Release Date: 06-11-2007

Details: Product Description Most Americans believe the United States had been an isolationist power until the twentieth century. This is wrong. In a riveting and brilliantly revisionist work of history, Robert Kagan, bestselling author of Of Paradise and Power, shows how Americans have in fact steadily been increasing their global power and influence from the beginning. Driven by commercial, territorial, and idealistic ambitions, the United States has always perceived itself, and been seen by other nations, as an international force. This is a book of great importance to our understanding of our nation’s history and its role in the global community. Review “Brilliant and original. . . . A tour de force of historical writing that should change the way many people view the country's past. . . a landmark.” — Foreign Affairs“The most important reassessment of early United States foreign policy to appear in over half a century. Compellingly written and provocatively argued, it goes far toward explaining -- to the world but also to ourselves -- who we Americans are today, and where we may be going.” —John Lewis Gaddis, author of The Cold War“A first-rate work of history, based on prodigious reading and enlivened by a powerful prose style. . . . Helps bring long-dead diplomatic history to life.”— The Economist“Provocative and deeply absorbing. . . . [Kagan] shows how America was always a player, and often a ruthless one, in the great game of nations.”— The New York Times Book Review About the Author Robert Kagan is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he is director of the U.S. Leadership Project. He is the author of A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1990 and coeditor with William Kristol, of Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy. Kagan served in the State Department from 1984-1988. He lives in Brussels with his wife and two children. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Chapter 1 The First Imperialists This is a commonwealth of the fabric that hath an open ear, and a public concernment. She is not made for herself only, but given as a magistrate of God unto mankind, for the vindication of common right and the law of nature. Wherefore saith Cicero of the . . . Romans, Nos magis patronatum orbis terrarrum suscepimus quam imperium, we have rather undertaken the patronage than the empire of the world. —James Harrington, The Commonwealth of Oceana, 1656 The Myth of the “City upon a Hill”: The Americanization of the Puritan MissionMisperceptions about the history, traditions, and nature of American foreign policy begin with the popular image of the Puritans who settled in New England in the 1630s. John Winthrop’s hopeful description of the Massachusetts Bay theocracy as a “city upon a hill” is emblazoned in the American self-image, a vivid symbol of what are widely seen as dominant isolationist and “exceptionalist” tendencies in American foreign policy. The Puritan “mission,” as the historian Frederick Merk once put it, was “to redeem the Old World by high example,” and generations of Americans have considered this “exemplarist” purpose the country’s original mission in its pure, uncorrupted form: the desire to set an example to the world, but from a safe distance.1 Felix Gilbert argued that the unique combination of idealism and isolationism in American thought derived from the Puritans’ “utopian” aspirations, which required “separation” from Europe and the severing of “ties which might spread the diseases of Europe to America.”2 The true American “mission,” therefore, was inherently isolationist, passive, and restrained; it was, as Merk put it, both “idealistic” and “self-denying . . . a force that fought to curb expansionism of the aggressive variety.”3This picture of Puritan America as a pious Greta Garbo, wanting only to be left alone in her self-contained world, is misleading. For one thing, Winthrop’s Purita

EAN: 9780375724916

Languages: English

Binding: Paperback

Item Condition: UsedLikeNew