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Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque
The Living, Dead, and Undead in Japan's Imperialism, 1895-1945
Mark Driscoll
Duke University Press, 2010
In this major reassessment of Japanese imperialism in Asia, Mark Driscoll foregrounds the role of human life and labor. Drawing on subaltern postcolonial studies and Marxism, he directs critical attention to the peripheries, where figures including Chinese coolies, Japanese pimps, trafficked Japanese women, and Korean tenant farmers supplied the vital energy that drove Japan's empire. He identifies three phases of Japan's capitalist expansion, each powered by distinct modes of capturing and expropriating life and labor: biopolitics (1895–1914), neuropolitics (1920–32), and necropolitics (1935-45). During the first phase, Japanese elites harnessed the labor of marginalized subjects as Japan colonized Taiwan, Korea, and south Manchuria, and sent hustlers and sex workers into China to expand its market hegemony. Linking the deformed bodies laboring in the peripheries with the "erotic-grotesque" media in the metropole, Driscoll centers the second phase on commercial sexology, pornography, and detective stories in Tokyo to argue that by 1930, capitalism had colonized all aspects of human life: not just labor practices but also consumers’ attention and leisure time. Focusing on Japan's Manchukuo colony in the third phase, he shows what happens to the central figures of biopolitics as they are subsumed under necropolitical capitalism: coolies become forced laborers, pimps turn into state officials and authorized narcotraffickers, and sex workers become "comfort women". Driscoll concludes by discussing Chinese fiction written inside Manchukuo, describing the everyday violence unleashed by necropolitics.
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Accidental State
Chiang Kai-shek, the United States, and the Making of Taiwan
Hsiao-ting Lin
Harvard University Press, 2016

The existence of two Chinese states—one controlling mainland China, the other controlling the island of Taiwan—is often understood as a seemingly inevitable outcome of the Chinese civil war. Defeated by Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fled to Taiwan to establish a rival state, thereby creating the “Two Chinas” dilemma that vexes international diplomacy to this day. Accidental State challenges this conventional narrative to offer a new perspective on the founding of modern Taiwan.

Hsiao-ting Lin marshals extensive research in recently declassified archives to show that the creation of a Taiwanese state in the early 1950s owed more to serendipity than careful geostrategic planning. It was the cumulative outcome of ad hoc half-measures and imperfect compromises, particularly when it came to the Nationalists’ often contentious relationship with the United States.

Taiwan’s political status was fraught from the start. The island had been formally ceded to Japan after the First Sino-Japanese War, and during World War II the Allies promised Chiang that Taiwan would revert to Chinese rule after Japan’s defeat. But as the Chinese civil war turned against the Nationalists, U.S. policymakers reassessed the wisdom of backing Chiang. The idea of placing Taiwan under United Nations trusteeship gained traction. Cold War realities, and the fear of Taiwan falling into Communist hands, led Washington to recalibrate U.S. policy. Yet American support of a Taiwan-based Republic of China remained ambivalent, and Taiwan had to eke out a place for itself in international affairs as a de facto, if not fully sovereign, state.

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Acheson and Empire
The British Accent in American Foreign Policy
John T. McNay
University of Missouri Press, 2001

Acheson and Empire offers a compelling reassessment of Dean Acheson's policies toward the former colonial world during his period as secretary of state from 1949 to 1953. John T. McNay argues that Acheson inherited through his own personal history a way of understanding the world that encouraged imperial-style international relationships. This worldview represented a well-developed belief system rooted in his Ulster Protestant heritage that remained consistent throughout his life.

By exploring relationships of the United States with Britain and countries formerly or then controlled by Britain, such as India, Ireland, Iran, and Egypt, McNay shows the significance of Acheson's beliefs. McNay argues that Acheson's support of existing imperial relationships was so steadfast that it often led other nations to perceive that the United States was nothing more than a front for British interests. He believes this approach to foreign policy damaged American relations with emerging countries and misled the British regarding possibilities of an Anglo-American partnership.

Acheson and Empire contends that the widely accepted view of Acheson as a foreign policy realist is misleading and that historians should acknowledge that his affinity for the British Empire went beyond his clothing and mannerisms. McNay maintains that the widely accepted view of Acheson as one of a group of "wise men" who shaped the Cold War world by basing their decisions on cold calculation of American interests should be reconsidered.

Drawing from extensive research in archival sources, including the Truman Library, the National Archives, the Public Record Office in London, and Acheson's personal papers at Yale, Acheson and Empire offers a fresh look at Dean Acheson that runs counter to previous biographies and many histories of the Cold War.

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Across The Pacific
Asian Americans and Globalization
Evelyn Hu-Dehart, E
Temple University Press, 2000
If Asian Americans are to assume the role of bridge builders across the Pacific, what are the opportunities, the risks, the promises, and the perils? The answer to this question comes in eight groundbreaking essays in which contributors to Across the Pacific address issues of contemporary growth and diversification of Asian America in relation to the increasingly globalized economy. New meanings and  practices of Asian Americans are considered in the atmosphere of global transformation that is present in the post-Civil Rights, post-Cold War, postmodern, and postcolonial era. This book explores, in descriptive and critical ways, how transnational relationships and interactions in Asian American communities are manifested, exemplified, and articulated within the international context of the Pacific Rim.

Members of the Asian American community have always been trans-Pacific, but are now more than ever, since the 1965 change in U.S. immigration law. Entering the U.S. at the culmination of the Civil Rights movement, Asians becoming Asian Americans have joined a self-consciously multicultural society. Asian economies roared onto the world stage, creating new markets while circulating capital and labor at an unprecedented scale and intensity, thereby helping drive the forces of modern globalization. These essays by well-known scholars in the field of Asian American studies consider such topics as the impact of new migrations on Asian American subjectivity and politics, Asian American activism and U.S. foreign policy, and the role of Asian Americans in Pacific Rim economies.

Considering issues of diaspora, transmigrancy, assimilation, institutionalized racism, and community, Across the Pacific covers such cutting-edge subjects as the cultural expressions of dislocation among contemporary Asian American writers, as well as the impact of the new migrations on Asian American subjectivity and politics.
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Across the Waves
How the United States and France Shaped the International Age of Radio
Derek Vaillant
University of Illinois Press, 2017
In 1931, the United States and France embarked on a broadcasting partnership built around radio. Over time, the transatlantic sonic alliance came to personify and to shape American-French relations in an era of increased global media production and distribution.

Drawing on a broad range of American and French archives, Derek Vaillant joins textual and aural materials with original data analytics and maps to illuminate U.S.-French broadcasting's political and cultural development. Vaillant focuses on the period from 1931 until France dismantled its state media system in 1974. His analysis examines mobile actors, circulating programs, and shifting institutions that shaped international radio's use in times of war and peace. He explores the extraordinary achievements, the miscommunications and failures, and the limits of cooperation between America and France as they shaped a new media environment. Throughout, Vaillant explains how radio's power as an instantaneous mass communications tool produced, legitimized, and circulated various notions of states, cultures, ideologies, and peoples as superior or inferior.

A first comparative history of its subject, Across the Waves provocatively examines how different strategic agendas, aesthetic aims and technical systems shaped U.S.-French broadcasting and the cultural politics linking the United States and France.

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Adventures in Chaos
American Intervention for Reform in the Third World
Douglas Macdonald
Harvard University Press, 1992

Can—or should—the United States try to promote reform in client states in the Third World? This question, which reverberates through American foreign policy, is at the heart of Adventures in Chaos. A faltering friendly state, in danger of falling to hostile forces, presents the U.S. with three options: withdraw, bolster the existing government, or try to reform it. Douglas Macdonald defines the circumstances that call these policy options into play, combining an analysis of domestic politics in the U. S., cognitive theories of decision making, and theories of power relations drawn from sociology, economics, and political science.

He examines the conditions that promote the reformist option and then explores strategies for improving the success of reformist intervention in the future. In order to identify problems in this policy—and to propose solutions—Macdonald focuses on three case studies of reformist intervention in Asia: China, 1946-1948; the Philippines, 1950-1953; and Vietnam, 1961-1963. Striking similarities in these cases suggest that such policy dilemmas are a function of the global role played by the U.S., especially during the Cold War. Though this role is changing, Macdonald foresees future applications for the lessons his study offers.

A challenge to the conventional wisdom on reformist intervention, Adventures in Chaos—through extensive archival research—displays a theoretical and historical depth often lacking in treatments of the subject.

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Africa in the World
Frederick Cooper
Harvard University Press, 2014

At the Second World War’s end, it was clear that business as usual in colonized Africa would not resume. W. E. B. Du Bois’s The World and Africa, published in 1946, recognized the depth of the crisis that the war had brought to Europe, and hence to Europe’s domination over much of the globe. Du Bois believed that Africa’s past provided lessons for its future, for international statecraft, and for humanity’s mastery of social relations and commerce. Frederick Cooper revisits a history in which Africans were both empire-builders and the objects of colonization, and participants in the events that gave rise to global capitalism.

Of the many pathways out of empire that African leaders envisioned in the 1940s and 1950s, Cooper asks why they ultimately followed the one that led to the nation-state, a political form whose limitations and dangers were recognized by influential Africans at the time. Cooper takes account of the central fact of Africa’s situation—extreme inequality between Africa and the western world, and extreme inequality within African societies—and considers the implications of this past trajectory for the future. Reflecting on the vast body of research on Africa since Du Bois’s time, Cooper corrects outdated perceptions of a continent often relegated to the margins of world history and integrates its experience into the mainstream of global affairs.

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African Americans in U.S. Foreign Policy
From the Era of Frederick Douglass to the Age of Obama
Edited by Linda Heywood, Allison Blakely, Charles Stith, and Joshua C. Yesnowitz
University of Illinois Press, 2015
Bookended by remarks from African American diplomats Walter C. Carrington and Charles Stith, the essays in this volume use close readings of speeches, letters, historical archives, diaries, memoirs of policymakers, and newly available FBI files to confront much-neglected questions related to race and foreign relations in the United States. Why, for instance, did African Americans profess loyalty and support for the diplomatic initiatives of a nation that undermined their social, political, and economic well-being through racist policies and cultural practices? Other contributions explore African Americans' history in the diplomatic and consular services and the influential roles of cultural ambassadors like Joe Louis and Louis Armstrong. The volume concludes with an analysis of the effects on race and foreign policy in the administration of Barack Obama.

Groundbreaking and critical, African Americans in U.S. Foreign Policy expands on the scope and themes of recent collections to offer the most up-to-date scholarship to students in a range of disciplines, including U.S. and African American history, Africana studies, political science, and American studies.

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African-Asian Encounters
New Cooperations and New Dependencies
Edited by Arndt Graf and Azirah Hashim
Amsterdam University Press, 2017
In recent decades, ties between Africa and Asia have greatly increased. And while most of the scholarly attention to the phenomenon has focused on China, often with an emphasis on asymmetric power relations in both politics and economics, this book takes a much broader view, looking at various small and medium-sized actors in Asia and Africa in a wide range of fields. It will be essential for scholars working on Asian-African studies and will also offer insights for policymakers working in this fast-changing field.
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After the End
Making U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War World
James M. Scott, ed.
Duke University Press, 1998
In the political landscape emerging from the end of the Cold War, making U.S. foreign policy has become more difficult, due in part to less clarity and consensus about threats and interests. In After the End James M. Scott brings together a group of scholars to explore the changing international situation since 1991 and to examine the characteristics and patterns of policy making that are emerging in response to a post–Cold War world.
These essays examine the recent efforts of U.S. policymakers to recast the roles, interests, and purposes of the United States both at home and abroad in a political environment where policy making has become increasingly decentralized and democratized. The contributors suggest that foreign policy leadership has shifted from White House and executive branch dominance to an expanded group of actors that includes the president, Congress, the foreign policy bureaucracy, interest groups, the media, and the public. The volume includes case studies that focus on China, Russia, Bosnia, Somalia, democracy promotion, foreign aid, and NAFTA. Together, these chapters describe how policy making after 1991 compares to that of other periods and suggest how foreign policy will develop in the future.
This collection provides a broad, balanced evaluation of U.S. foreign policy making in the post–Cold War setting for scholars, teachers, and students of U.S. foreign policy, political science, history, and international studies.

Contributors. Ralph G. Carter, Richard Clark, A. Lane Crothers, I. M. Destler, Ole R. Holsti, Steven W. Hook, Christopher M. Jones, James M. McCormick, Jerel Rosati, Jeremy Rosner, John T. Rourke, Renee G. Scherlen, Peter J. Schraeder, James M. Scott, Jennifer Sterling-Folker, Rick Travis, Stephen Twing

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Afterimages
Photography and U.S. Foreign Policy
Liam Kennedy
University of Chicago Press, 2016
In 2005, photographer Chris Hondros captured a striking image of a young Iraqi girl in the aftermath of the killing of her parents by American soldiers. The shot stunned the world and has since become iconic—comparable to the infamous photo by Nick Ut of a Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack. Both images serve as microcosms for their respective conflicts. Afterimages looks at the work of war photographers like Hondros and Ut to understand how photojournalism interacts with the American worldview.

Liam Kennedy here maps the evolving relations between the American way of war and photographic coverage of it. Organized in its first section around key US military actions over the last fifty years, the book then moves on to examine how photographers engaged with these conflicts on wider ethical and political grounds, and finally on to the genre of photojournalism itself. Illustrated throughout with examples of the photographs being considered, Afterimages argues that photographs are important means for critical reflection on war, violence, and human rights. It goes on to analyze the high ethical, sociopolitical, and legalistic value we place on the still image’s ability to bear witness and stimulate action.
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Aid Imperium
United States Foreign Policy and Human Rights in Post-Cold War Southeast Asia
Salvador Santino F. Regilme Jr.
University of Michigan Press, 2021

Does foreign aid promote human rights? As the world’s largest aid donor, the United States has provided foreign assistance to more than 200 countries. Deploying global numerical data on US foreign aid and comparative historical analysis of America’s post–Cold War foreign policies in Southeast Asia, Aid Imperium provides the most comprehensive explanation that links US strategic assistance to physical integrity rights outcomes in recipient countries, particularly in ways that previous quantitative studies have systematically ignored. The book innovatively highlights the active political agency of Global South states and actors as they negotiate and chart their political trajectories with the United States as the core state of the international system. Drawing from theoretical insights in the humanities and the social sciences as well as a wide range of empirical documents, Aid Imperium is the first multidisciplinary study to explain how US foreign policy affects state repression and physical integrity rights outcomes in Southeast Asia and the rest of the Global South.

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Alignment, Alliance, and American Grand Strategy
Zachary Selden
University of Michigan Press, 2016
Although US foreign policy was largely unpopular in the early 2000s, many nation-states, especially those bordering Russia and China, expanded their security cooperation with the United States. In Alignment, Alliance, and American Grand Strategy, Zachary Selden notes that the regional power of these two illiberal states prompt threatened neighboring states to align with the United States. Gestures of alignment include participation in major joint military exercises, involvement in US-led operations, the negotiation of agreements for US military bases, and efforts to join a US-led alliance. By contrast, Brazil is also a rising regional power, but as it is a democratic state, its neighbors have not sought greater alliance with the United States.
 
Amid calls for retrenchment or restraint, Selden makes the case that a policy focused on maintaining American military preeminence and the demonstrated willingness to use force may be what sustains the cooperation of second-tier states, which in turn help to maintain US hegemony at a manageable cost.

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Allies In Adversity
The Frontline States In Southern
Gilbert M. Khadiagala
Ohio University Press, 1994

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Aloha Betrayed
Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism
Noenoe K. Silva
Duke University Press, 2004
In 1897, as a white oligarchy made plans to allow the United States to annex Hawai'i, native Hawaiians organized a massive petition drive to protest. Ninety-five percent of the native population signed the petition, causing the annexation treaty to fail in the U.S. Senate. This event was unknown to many contemporary Hawaiians until Noenoe K. Silva rediscovered the petition in the process of researching this book. With few exceptions, histories of Hawai'i have been based exclusively on English-language sources. They have not taken into account the thousands of pages of newspapers, books, and letters written in the mother tongue of native Hawaiians. By rigorously analyzing many of these documents, Silva fills a crucial gap in the historical record. In so doing, she refutes the long-held idea that native Hawaiians passively accepted the erosion of their culture and loss of their nation, showing that they actively resisted political, economic, linguistic, and cultural domination. Drawing on Hawaiian-language texts, primarily newspapers produced in the nineteenth century and early twentieth, Silva demonstrates that print media was central to social communication, political organizing, and the perpetuation of Hawaiian language and culture. A powerful critique of colonial historiography, Aloha Betrayed provides a much-needed history of native Hawaiian resistance to American imperialism.
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Altered States
America Since the Sixties
Jeremy Black
Reaktion Books, 2006
Red states versus blue states. Metro versus retro. North or South, East or West. Pundits, politicians, and social scientists love to carve out categories in an attempt to make sense of political and social divisions that run through the American landscape. As the home of nearly 300 million people spread over approximately 3.7 million square miles of earth, the United States poses a monumental challenge to all who try to grapple with its rich and immensely complex physical and social geography. Acclaimed British historian Jeremy Black tackles this challenge through a literal and metaphorical road trip across America’s physical and historical landscapes, analyzing the ways that events in American history and culture since 1960 have remade the geography and demographics of America. 

Black works from the startling premise that the United States is a continent pretending to be a country. He examines the cultural clashes—and the tense harmony—between the numerous regional cultures uneasily contained within the United States’ wide bounds. Suburban sprawl, the triumph of consumerism, the war over health care, immigration, and Christian evangelicalism all play a part in these pages, as Black unravels the tangled web of American life during the past forty-five years. He locates such tensions in the tug-of-war between the unitary and divisive pressures that have always defined the character of American government, and in the alternating rise and fall of individualism and conformity in American society as well.  Black also has some telling new reflections on America’s role abroad, from Nixon’s Vietnam to George W. Bush's Iraq.

Drawing on travels from Virginia to California to Alaska, Black deftly reveals in Altered States the less-examined aspects of American culture as they are manifested in its diverse peoples and landscapes from coast to coast.

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Alutiiq Villages under Russian and U.S. Rule
Sonja Luehrmann
University of Alaska Press, 2009
Sonja Luehrmann’s volume examines Alutiiq history within the larger context of Russian and American expansionism. The author uses source material in both English and Russian in order to create a work focused on the intersection of the two colonial perspectives—throwing light on our understanding of the differences in the way each society incorporated the Alutiiq community, both as a labor force and a social entity. In a series of map essays, Luehrmann examines the changing patterns of settlement and demography among the Alutiiq as the population responded to the conditions they encountered: economic exploitation, new cultural influences, intermarriage, disease, and the eruption of Novarupta. The addition of Russian source material fills an important blank in this unique history and makes Alutiiq Villages Under Russian and U.S. Rule a major resource for anyone working on Alutiiq history or the region’s history in the Russian colonial period.
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AMBASSADORIAL DIARIES
THE COURT OF ST. JAMES'S 1918-1921
JULIA DAVIS
West Virginia University Press, 1993

John W. Davis (1873-1955) was the most important national politician to call West Virginia home. Nominated for president by the Democratic Party in 1924, Davis lost to the incumbent Calvin Coolidge. This diary is an engaging day-by-day account of Davis's service as U.S. ambassador to England at a pivotal point in modern history. The recent World War and Russian Revolution, the new thirst for oil, the old strife in Ireland, and the final days of the Wilson presidency fill this diary with enduring significance. Davis also offers a look at the personalities which shaped the post-war world and describes the pageantry and social life of America's most coveted ambassadorial assignment.

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Ambassadors at Sea
The High and Low Adventures of a Diplomat
By Henry E. Catto, Jr.
University of Texas Press, 1998

In 1969, Henry Catto was selling insurance in San Antonio, Texas. Just twenty years later, he presented his credentials as ambassador to the Court of St. James's to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, at Buckingham Palace. In this engaging memoir, he retraces his journey from Texas outsider to Washington insider, providing a fascinating look at the glamour, day-to-day work, and even occasional danger that come with being a high-level representative of the United States government.

Catto's posts brought him into contact with the world's most powerful leaders and left him with a wealth of stories, which he recounts amusingly in these pages. He was the official host for Queen Elizabeth's visit to America during the Bicentennial year—and one of José Napoleon Duarte's protectors after his failed 1972 coup attempt in El Salvador. Catto accompanied Richard Nixon on his historic trip to Russia, sparred with Bill Moyers and the producers of "60 Minutes" as Caspar Weinberger's spokesman at the Pentagon, and hosted George Bush's planning meeting with Margaret Thatcher at the beginning of the Persian Gulf War. In telling these and other stories, he offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into how political power really works in Washington, London, and other world capitals.

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American Arms Supermarket
By Michael T. Klare
University of Texas Press, 1985

U.S. arms sales to Third World countries rapidly escalated from $250 million per year in the 1950s and 1960s to $10 billion and above in the 1970s and 1980s. But were these military sales, so critical in their impact on Third World nations and on America’s perception of its global role, achieving the ends and benefits attributed to them by U.S. policymakers? In American Arms Supermarket, Michael T. Klare responds to this troubling, still-timely question with a resounding no, showing how a steady growth in arms sales places global security and stability in jeopardy.

Tracing U.S. policies, practices, and experiences in military sales to the Third World from the 1950s to the 1980s, Klare explains how the formation of U.S. foreign policy did not keep pace with its escalating arms sales—how, instead, U.S. arms exports proved to be an unreliable instrument of policy, often producing results that diminished rather than enhanced fundamental American interests. Klare carefully considers the whole spectrum of contemporary American arms policy, focusing on the political economy of military sales, the evolution of U.S. arms export policy from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, and the institutional framework for arms export decision making. Actual case studies of U.S. arms sales to Latin America, Iran, and the Middle East provide useful data in assessing the effectiveness of arms transfer programs in meeting U.S. foreign policy objectives.

 The author also rigorously examines trouble spots in arms policy: the transfer of arms-making technology to Third World arms producers, the relationship between arms transfers and human rights, and the enforcement of arms embargoes on South Africa, Chile, and other “pariah” regimes. Klare also compares the U.S. record on arms transfers to the experiences of other major arms suppliers: the Soviet Union and the “big four” European nations—France, Britain, the former West Germany, and Italy. Concluding with a reasoned, carefully drawn proposal for an alternative arms export policy, Klare vividly demonstrates the need for cautious, restrained, and sensitive policy.

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The American Colonial State in the Philippines
Global Perspectives
Julian Go and Anne L. Foster, eds.
Duke University Press, 2003
In 1898 the United States declared sovereignty over the Philippines, an archipelago of seven thousand islands inhabited by seven million people of various ethnicities. While it became a colonial power at the zenith of global imperialism, the United States nevertheless conceived of its rule as exceptional—an exercise in benevolence rather than in tyranny and exploitation. In this volume, Julian Go and Anne L. Foster untangle this peculiar self-fashioning and insist on the importance of studying U.S. colonial rule in the context of other imperialist ventures. A necessary expansion of critical focus, The American Colonial State in the Philippines is the first systematic attempt to examine the creation and administration of the American colonial state from comparative, global perspectives.

Written by social scientists and historians, these essays investigate various aspects of American colonial government through comparison with and contextualization within colonial regimes elsewhere in the world—from British Malaysia and Dutch Indonesia to Japanese Taiwan and America's other major overseas colony, Puerto Rico. Contributors explore the program of political education in the Philippines; constructions of nationalism, race, and religion; the regulation of opium; connections to politics on the U.S. mainland; and anticolonial resistance. Tracking the complex connections, circuits, and contests across, within, and between empires that shaped America's colonial regime, The American Colonial State in the Philippines sheds new light on the complexities of American imperialism and turn-of-the-century colonialism.


Contributors.
Patricio N. Abinales, Donna J. Amoroso, Paul Barclay, Vince Boudreau, Anne L. Foster, Julian Go, Paul A. Kramer

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American Diplomacy
George F. Kennan
University of Chicago Press, 1985
Drawing on his diplomatic experience and expertise, George F. Kennan offers an informed, plain-spoken appraisal of United States foreign policy. His evaluations of diplomatic history and international relations cut to the heart of policy issues much debated today.

This expanded edition retains the lectures and essays first published in 1951 as American Diplomacy, 1900-1950 and adds two lectures delivered in 1984 as well as a new preface by the author. In these additional pieces, Kennan explains how some of his ideas have changed over the years. He confronts the events and topics that have come to occupy American opinion in the last thirty years, including the development and significance of the Cold War, the escalation of the nuclear arms race, and the American involvement in Vietnam.

"A book about foreign policy by a man who really knows something about foreign policy."—James Reston,New York Times Book Review

"These celebrated lectures, delivered at the University of Chicago in 1950, were for many years the most widely read account of American diplomacy in the first half of the twentieth century. . . . The second edition of the work contains two lectures from 1984 that reconsider the themes of American Diplomacy"—Foreign Affairs, Significant Books of the Last 75 Years.
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American Diplomacy
Sixtieth-Anniversary Expanded Edition
George F. Kennan
University of Chicago Press, 2012

For more than sixty years, George F. Kennan’s American Diplomacy has been a standard work on American foreign policy. Drawing on his considerable diplomatic experience and expertise, Kennan offers an overview and critique of the foreign policy of an emerging great power whose claims to rightness often spill over into self-righteousness, whose ambitions conflict with power realities, whose judgmentalism precludes the interests of other states, and whose domestic politics frequently prevent prudent policies and result in overstretch. Keenly aware of the dangers of military intervention and the negative effects of domestic politics on foreign policy, Kennan identifies troubling inconsistencies in the areas between actions and ideals—even when the strategies in question turned out to be decided successes.

In this expanded sixtieth-anniversary edition, a substantial new introduction by John J. Mearsheimer, one of America’s leading political realists, provides new understandings of Kennan’s work and explores its continued resonance. As America grapples with its new role as one power among many—rather than as the “indispensable nation” that sees “further into the future”—Kennan’s perceptive analysis of the past is all the more relevant. Today, as then, the pressing issue of how to wield power with prudence and responsibility remains, and Kennan’s cautions about the cost of hubris are still timely. Refreshingly candid, American Diplomacy cuts to the heart of policy issues that continue to be hotly debated today.

“These celebrated lectures, delivered at the University of Chicago in 1950, were for many years the most widely read account of American diplomacy in the first half of the twentieth century.”—Foreign Affairs, Significant Books of the Last 75 Years

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An American Diplomat in Bolshevik Russia
DeWitt Clinton Poole, Edited by Lorraine M. Lees and William S. Rodner
University of Wisconsin Press, 2014
Diplomat DeWitt Clinton Poole arrived for a new job at the United States consulate office in Moscow in September 1917, just two months before the Bolshevik Revolution. In the final year of World War I, as Russians were withdrawing and Americans were joining the war, Poole found himself in the midst of political turmoil in Russia. U.S. relations with the newly declared Soviet Union rapidly deteriorated as civil war erupted and as Allied forces intervened in northern Russia and Siberia. Thirty-five years later, in the climate of the Cold War, Poole recounted his experiences as a witness to that era in a series of interviews.
            Historians Lorraine M. Lees and William S. Rodner introduce and annotate Poole's recollections, which give a fresh, firsthand perspective on monumental events in world history and reveal the important impact DeWitt Clinton Poole (1885–1952) had on U.S.–Soviet relations. He was active in implementing U.S. policy, negotiating with the Bolshevik authorities, and supervising American intelligence operations that gathered information about conditions throughout Russia, especially monitoring anti-Bolshevik elements and areas of German influence. Departing Moscow in late 1918 via Petrograd, he was assigned to the port of Archangel, then occupied by Allied and American forces, and left Russia in June 1919.
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American Dove
US Foreign Policy and the Failure of Force
Zachary C. Shirkey
University of Michigan Press, 2020
Zachary C. Shirkey argues that the United States is overly reliant on the active use of force and should employ more peaceful foreign policy tools. Force often fails to achieve its desired ends for both tactical and strategic reasons and is relatively infungible, making it an inappropriate tool for many US foreign policy goals. Rather than relying on loose analogies or common sense as many books on US grand strategy do, American Dove bases its argument directly on an eclectic mix of academic literature, including realist, liberal, and constructivist theory as well as psychology. Shirkey also argues against retrenchment strategies, such as offshore balancing and strategic restraint as lacking a moral component that leaves them vulnerable to hawkish policies that employ moral arguments in favor of action. US withdrawal would weaken the existing liberal international security, economic, and legal orders—orders that benefit the United States. Rather, the book argues the United States needs an energetic foreign policy that employs passive uses of force such as deterrence and nonmilitary tools such as economic statecraft, international institutions, international law, and soft power. Such a policy leaves room for a moral component, which is necessary for mobilizing the American public and would uphold the existing international order. Last, Shirkey argues that to be successful, doves must frame their arguments in terms of strategy rather than in terms of costs and must show that dovish policies are consistent with national honor and a broad range of American values. American Dove offers a framework for US grand strategy and a plan for persuading the public to adopt it.
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American Empire
Andrew J. Bacevich
Harvard University Press, 2002

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.

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American Foreign National Security
Policies, 1914-1945
Thomas H. Buckley
University of Tennessee Press, 1988

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American Girls and Global Responsibility
A New Relation to the World during the Early Cold War
Helgren, Jennifer
Rutgers University Press, 2017
American Girls and Global Responsibility brings together insights from Cold War culture studies, girls’ studies, and the history of gender and militarization to shed new light on how age and gender work together to form categories of citizenship.
 
Jennifer Helgren argues that a new internationalist girl citizenship took root in the country in the years following World War II in youth organizations such as Camp Fire Girls, Girl Scouts, YWCA Y-Teens, schools, and even magazines like Seventeen. She shows the particular ways that girls’ identities and roles were configured, and reveals the links between internationalist youth culture, mainstream U.S. educational goals, and the U.S. government in creating and marketing that internationalist girl, thus shaping the girls’ sense of responsibilities as citizens. 
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American Power and International Theory at the Council on Foreign Relations, 1953-54
David M. McCourt, Editor
University of Michigan Press, 2020

Between December 1953 and June 1954, the elite think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) joined prominent figures in International Relations, including Pennsylvania’s Robert Strausz-Hupé, Yale’s Arnold Wolfers, the Rockefeller Foundation’s William Thompson, government adviser Dorothy Fosdick, and nuclear strategist William Kaufmann. They spent seven meetings assessing approaches to world politics—from the “realist” theory of Hans Morgenthau to theories of imperialism of Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin—to discern basic elements of a theory of international relations.

The study group’s materials are an indispensable window to the development of IR theory, illuminating the seeds of the theory-practice nexus in Cold War U.S. foreign policy. Historians of International Relations recently revised the standard narrative of the field’s origins, showing that IR witnessed a sharp turn to theoretical consideration of international politics beginning around 1950, and remained preoccupied with theory. Taking place in 1953–54, the CFR study group represents a vital snapshot of this shift.

This book situates the CFR study group in its historical and historiographical contexts, and offers a biographical analysis of the participants. It includes seven preparatory papers on diverse theoretical approaches, penned by former Berkeley political scientist George A. Lipsky, followed by the digest of discussions from the study group meetings. American Power and International Theory at the Council on Foreign Relations, 1953–54 offers new insights into the early development of IR as well as the thinking of prominent elites in the early years of the Cold War.

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American Power and Liberal Order
A Conservative Internationalist Grand Strategy
Paul D. Miller
Georgetown University Press, 2023

Paul D. Miller offers a tough minded critique of recent trends in American grand strategy. He rejects retrenchment but also the excesses of liberal internationalism. He prescribes a conservative internationalist grand strategy to preserve the American security and leadership in the world while avoiding overstretch.

Originally written before the 2016 US presidential election, this first paperback edition contains a new preface that repositions the book’s argument for the Trump era. Miller explains why President Trump’s nationalist vision for American grand strategy damages US interests and world order. Miller blends academic rigor with his experiences as former member of the National Security Council and intelligence community to offer prescriptions for US grand strategy. He advocates for narrowing regional priorities and focusing on five strategic objectives: balancing against the nuclear autocracies, championing liberalism to maintain a favorable balance of power, thwarting the transnational jihadist movement, investing in governance in weak and failed states, and strengthening homeland security. 

This book is a must read for scholars and students of international affairs and for anyone who is concerned about America’s role in the world. 

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American Public Opinion on the Iraq War
Ole R. Holsti
University of Michigan Press, 2011

"A substantial contribution to understanding the role of public opinion and the news media during the Iraq War. Equally impressive, it effectively puts the domestic context of U.S. policy in historical perspective, making the book useful to historians as well as to political scientists."
---Ralph B. Levering, Davidson College

"American Public Opinion on the Iraq War sets out to chart against a detailed account of the war a nuanced assessment of how public opinion on the conflict evolved, the partisan differences that emerged, how the issue affected other areas of foreign policy opinion, and the limits of public opinion on policy. It succeeds at all of this, and it does so in a manner that is at once informative, inherently interesting, and exceptionally easy to read."
---Randolph M. Siverson, University of California, Davis

Ole R. Holsti explores the extent to which changes in public opinion reflected the vigorous public relations efforts of the Bush administration to gain support for the war and the partisanship marking debates over policies toward Iraq. Holsti investigates the ways in which the Iraq experience has led substantial numbers of Americans to reconsider their nation's proper international role, and he assesses the impact that public opinion has had on policymakers. Significantly, Holsti places his findings in a broader context to address the role of public opinion and of the media in democratic governance.

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The American Response to Canada Since 1776
Gordon T. Stewart
Michigan State University Press, 1992

Canadians long have engaged in in-depth, wide-ranging discussions about their nation's relations with the United States. On the other hand, American citizens usually have been satisfied to accept a series of unexamined myths about their country's unchanging, benign partnership with the "neighbor to the north". Although such perceptions of uninterrupted, friendly relations with Canada may dominate American popular opinion, not to mention discussions in many American scholarly and political circles, they should not, according to Stewart, form the bases for long-term U.S. international economic, political, and cultural relations with Canada. Stewart describes and analyzes the evolution of U.S. policymaking and U.S. policy thinking toward Canada, from the tense and confrontational post-Revolutionary years to the signing of the Free Trade Agreement in 1988, to discover if there are any permanent characteristics of American policies and attitudes with respect to Canada. American policymakers were concerned for much of the period before World War II with Canada's role in the British empire, often regarded as threatening, or at least troubling, to developing U.S. hegemony in North America and even, in the late nineteenth century, to U.S. trade across the Pacific. A permanent goal of U.S. policymakers was to disengage Canada from that empire. They also thought that Canada's natural geographic and economic orientation was southward to the U.S., and policymakers were critical of Canadian efforts to construct an east- west economy. The Free Trade Agreement of 1988 which prepared the way for north-south lines of economic force, in this context, had been an objective of U.S. foreign policy since the founding of the republic in 1776. At the same time, however, these deep-seated U.S. goals were often undermined by domestic lobbies and political factors within the U.S., most evidently during the era of high tariffs from the 1860s to the 1930s when U.S. tariff policies actually encouraged a separate, imperially-backed economic and cultural direction in Canada. When the dramatic shift toward integration in trade, investment, defense and even popular culture began to take hold in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s in the wake of the Depression and World War II, American policymakers viewed themselves as working in harmony with underlying, "natural" converging economic, political and cultural trends recognized and accepted by their Canadian counterparts.

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The American Search for Peace
Moral Reasoning, Religious Hope, and National Security
George S. Weigel Jr. and John P. Langan, SJ, Editors
Georgetown University Press, 1991

Revolutions and aborted revolutions and bitter civil and "local" wars in the 1980s and since have raised new questions about national security, its definition, and its implementation. Nevertheless, a number of basic philosophical and political issues remain constant at a level deeper than tactical considerations. These are what eight accomplished philosophers, political scientists, Christian ethicists, and policymakers came together to discuss. They ask the fundamental and perduring questions of pacifism, war, intervention, and political negotiation. They focus on such problems as ascertaining the role of the churches in the quest for peace, defining "national interest" and "national purpose," and construing intervention in other that strictly unilateral terms.

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American Umpire
Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
Harvard University Press, 2013

Commentators frequently call the United States an empire: occasionally a benign empire, sometimes an empire in denial, and often a destructive empire. Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman asserts instead that, because of its unusual federal structure, America has performed the role of umpire since 1776, compelling adherence to rules that gradually earned collective approval.

This provocative reinterpretation traces America’s role in the world from the days of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt to the present. Cobbs Hoffman argues that the United States has been the pivot of a transformation that began outside its borders and before its founding, in which nation-states replaced the empires that had dominated history. The “Western” values that America is often accused of imposing were, in fact, the result of this global shift. American Umpire explores the rise of three values—access to opportunity, arbitration of disputes, and transparency in government and business—and finds that the United States is distinctive not in its embrace of these practices but in its willingness to persuade and even coerce others to comply. But America’s leadership is problematic as well as potent. The nation has both upheld and violated the rules. Taking sides in explosive disputes imposes significant financial and psychic costs. By definition, umpires cannot win.

American Umpire offers a powerful new framework for reassessing the country’s role over the past 250 years. Amid urgent questions about future choices, this book asks who, if not the United States, might enforce these new rules of world order?

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American Value
Migrants, Money, and Meaning in El Salvador and the United States
David Pedersen
University of Chicago Press, 2012
Over the past half-century, El Salvador has transformed dramatically. Historically reliant on primary exports like coffee and cotton, the country emerged from a brutal civil war in 1992 to find much of its national income now coming from a massive emigrant workforce—over a quarter of its population—that earns money in the United States and sends it home. In American Value, David Pedersen examines this new way of life as it extends across two places: Intipucá, a Salvadoran town infamous for its remittance wealth, and the Washington, DC, metro area, home to the second largest population of Salvadorans in the United States.
 
Pedersen charts El Salvador’s change alongside American deindustrialization, viewing the Salvadoran migrant work abilities used in new lowwage American service jobs as a kind of primary export, and shows how the latest social conditions linking both countries are part of a longer history of disparity across the Americas. Drawing on the work of Charles S. Peirce, he demonstrates how the defining value forms—migrant work capacity, services, and remittances—act as signs, building a moral world by communicating their exchangeability while hiding the violence and exploitation on which this story rests. Theoretically sophisticated, ethnographically rich, and compellingly written, American Value offers critical insights into practices that are increasingly common throughout the world.
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American Visions of the Netherlands East Indies/Indonesia
US Foreign Policy and Indonesian Nationalism 1920-1949
Frances Gouda and Thijs Brocades Zaalberg
Amsterdam University Press, 2002
The result of a Fulbright senior research fellowship celebrating the simultaneous 50th anniversaries of the Fulbright Exchange Foundation and the Indonesian Republic, this book offers a new perspective on American attitudes toward Dutch colonial rule and Indonesia’s struggle for independence. Drawing on extensive research in American, Dutch, Indonesian, and Australian diplomatic records and archival documents, as well as the archives of the United Nations, the authors give a new overview of the political background and changing rationale of American foreign policies.
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The American Way of Peace
An Interpretation
Jan S. Prybyla
University of Missouri Press, 2005
In The American Way of Peace, Jan S. Prybyla traces the implementation of an idea derived from bedrock American values that has shaped the American character from the nation’s beginning. The idea—simple, generous, optimistic, and effective—was and remains to give people realizable hope, an attainable dream, by creating a peaceful, secure, and materially comfortable world, a Pax Americana, the American Way of Peace.
In the period surveyed, beginning with the end of World War II, this objective was achieved through American initiative and with American leadership, despite resistance from Nazi barbarism, Soviet serfdom, and, more recently, Islamic extremist inhumanity. There has also been opposition from some of those in the western confines of Europe whom Pax Americana helped raise from the ashes to which they had been reduced.
The American Way of Peace examines the work of reconstruction, the enemy bombardment, as well as the hurtful sniping along the way by the beneficiaries of American support. Prybyla recommends a reevaluation of American relations with those to whom friendship is but a utilitarian device, in light of the present eruption of terrorism worldwide. The need for America to act wisely and resolutely in defense of civilized values, to stem the third tidal wave of terrorist savagery, and to venture where others fear to tread is more compelling now than it has been in the six decades past, for today America’s very survival as a force for immense good in the world is being put to the test.
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Americans All
Good Neighbor Cultural Diplomacy in World War II
By Darlene J. Sadlier
University of Texas Press, 2012

Cultural diplomacy—“winning hearts and minds” through positive portrayals of the American way of life—is a key element in U.S. foreign policy, although it often takes a backseat to displays of military might. Americans All provides an in-depth, fine-grained study of a particularly successful instance of cultural diplomacy—the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CIAA), a government agency established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 and headed by Nelson A. Rockefeller that worked to promote hemispheric solidarity and combat Axis infiltration and domination by bolstering inter-American cultural ties.

Darlene J. Sadlier explores how the CIAA used film, radio, the press, and various educational and high-art activities to convince people in the United States of the importance of good neighbor relations with Latin America, while also persuading Latin Americans that the United States recognized and appreciated the importance of our southern neighbors. She examines the CIAA’s working relationship with Hollywood’s Motion Picture Society of the Americas; its network and radio productions in North and South America; its sponsoring of Walt Disney, Orson Welles, John Ford, Gregg Toland, and many others who traveled between the United States and Latin America; and its close ties to the newly created Museum of Modern Art, which organized traveling art and photographic exhibits and produced hundreds of 16mm educational films for inter-American audiences; and its influence on the work of scores of artists, libraries, book publishers, and newspapers, as well as public schools, universities, and private organizations.

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America’s Cold War
The Politics of Insecurity
Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall
Harvard University Press, 2009

The Cold War dominated world affairs during the half century following World War II. It ended in victory for the United States, yet it was a costly triumph, claiming trillions of dollars in defense spending and the lives of nearly 100,000 U.S. soldiers. Apocalyptic anti-communism sharply limited the range of acceptable political debate, while American actions overseas led to the death of millions of innocent civilians and destabilized dozens of nations that posed no threat to the United States.

In a brilliant new interpretation, Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall reexamine the successes and failures of America’s Cold War. The United States dealt effectively with the threats of Soviet predominance in Europe and of nuclear war in the early years of the conflict. But in engineering this policy, American leaders successfully paved the way for domestic actors and institutions with a vested interest in the struggle’s continuation. Long after the U.S.S.R. had been effectively contained, Washington continued to wage a virulent Cold War that entailed a massive arms buildup, wars in Korea and Vietnam, the support of repressive regimes and counterinsurgencies, and a pronounced militarization of American political culture.

American foreign policy after 1945 was never simply a response to communist power or a crusade contrived solely by domestic interests. It was always an amalgamation of both. This provocative book lays bare the emergence of a political tradition in Washington that feeds on external dangers, real or imagined, a mindset that inflames U.S. foreign policy to this day.

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America’s Cold War
The Politics of Insecurity, Second Edition
Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall
Harvard University Press, 2020

“A creative, carefully researched, and incisive analysis of U.S. strategy during the long struggle against the Soviet Union.”
—Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy


“Craig and Logevall remind us that American foreign policy is decided as much by domestic pressures as external threats. America’s Cold War is history at its provocative best.”
—Mark Atwood Lawrence, author of The Vietnam War


The Cold War dominated world affairs during the half century following World War II. America prevailed, but only after fifty years of grim international struggle, costly wars in Korea and Vietnam, trillions of dollars in military spending, and decades of nuclear showdowns. Was all of that necessary?

In this new edition of their landmark history, Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall engage with recent scholarship on the late Cold War, including the Reagan and Bush administrations and the collapse of the Soviet regime, and expand their discussion of the nuclear revolution and origins of the Vietnam War. Yet they maintain their original argument: that America’s response to a very real Soviet threat gave rise to a military and political system in Washington that is addicted to insecurity and the endless pursuit of enemies to destroy. America’s Cold War speaks vividly to debates about forever wars and threat inflation at the center of American politics today.

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America’s Dream Palace
Osamah F. Khalil
Harvard University Press, 2016

In T. E. Lawrence’s classic memoir Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence of Arabia claimed that he inspired a “dream palace” of Arab nationalism. What he really inspired, however, was an American idea of the area now called the Middle East that has shaped U.S. interventions over the course of a century, with sometimes tragic consequences. America’s Dream Palace brings into sharp focus the ways U.S. foreign policy has shaped the emergence of expertise concerning this crucial, often turbulent, and misunderstood part of the world.

America’s growing stature as a global power created a need for expert knowledge about different regions. When it came to the Middle East, the U.S. government was initially content to rely on Christian missionaries and Orientalist scholars. After World War II, however, as Washington’s national security establishment required professional expertise in Middle Eastern affairs, it began to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship with academic institutions. Newly created programs at Harvard, Princeton, and other universities became integral to Washington’s policymaking in the region. The National Defense Education Act of 1958, which aligned America’s educational goals with Cold War security concerns, proved a boon for Middle Eastern studies.

But charges of anti-Americanism within the academy soon strained this cozy relationship. Federal funding for area studies declined, while independent think tanks with ties to the government flourished. By the time the Bush administration declared its Global War on Terror, Osamah Khalil writes, think tanks that actively pursued agendas aligned with neoconservative goals were the drivers of America’s foreign policy.

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America's Encounters with Southeast Asia, 1800-1900
Before the Pivot
Farish A. Noor
Amsterdam University Press, 2018
A century before the Philippines came under American control, Americans were already travelling to Southeast Asia regularly. This book looks at the writings of American diplomats, adventurers, and scientists and chronicles how nineteenth-century Americans viewed and imagined Southeast Asia through their own cultural-political lenses. It argues that as Americans came to visit the region they also brought with them a train of cultural assumptions and biases that contributed to the development of American Orientalism in Southeast Asia.
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America's Miracle Man in Vietnam
Ngo Dinh Diem, Religion, Race, and U.S. Intervention in Southeast Asia
Seth Jacobs
Duke University Press, 2004
America’s Miracle Man in Vietnam rethinks the motivations behind one of the most ruinous foreign-policy decisions of the postwar era: America’s commitment to preserve an independent South Vietnam under the premiership of Ngo Dinh Diem. The so-called Diem experiment is usually ascribed to U.S. anticommunism and an absence of other candidates for South Vietnam’s highest office. Challenging those explanations, Seth Jacobs utilizes religion and race as categories of analysis to argue that the alliance with Diem cannot be understood apart from America’s mid-century religious revival and policymakers’ perceptions of Asians. Jacobs contends that Diem’s Catholicism and the extent to which he violated American notions of “Oriental” passivity and moral laxity made him a more attractive ally to Washington than many non-Christian South Vietnamese with greater administrative experience and popular support.

A diplomatic and cultural history, America’s Miracle Man in Vietnam draws on government archives, presidential libraries, private papers, novels, newspapers, magazines, movies, and television and radio broadcasts. Jacobs shows in detail how, in the 1950s, U.S. policymakers conceived of Cold War anticommunism as a crusade in which Americans needed to combine with fellow Judeo-Christians against an adversary dangerous as much for its atheism as for its military might. He describes how racist assumptions that Asians were culturally unready for democratic self-government predisposed Americans to excuse Diem’s dictatorship as necessary in “the Orient.” By focusing attention on the role of American religious and racial ideologies, Jacobs makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of the disastrous commitment of the United States to “sink or swim with Ngo Dinh Diem.”

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Among Empires
Charles S. Maier
Harvard University Press, 2007

Contemporary America, with its unparalleled armaments and ambition, seems to many commentators a new empire. Others angrily reject the designation. What stakes would being an empire have for our identity at home and our role abroad?

A preeminent American historian addresses these issues in light of the history of empires since antiquity. This elegantly written book examines the structure and impact of these mega-states and asks whether the United States shares their traits and behavior. Eschewing the standard focus on current U.S. foreign policy and the recent spate of pro- and anti-empire polemics, Charles S. Maier uses comparative history to test the relevance of a concept often invoked but not always understood. Marshaling a remarkable array of evidence—from Roman, Ottoman, Moghul, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and British experience—Maier outlines the essentials of empire throughout history. He then explores the exercise of U.S. power in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, carefully analyzing its economic and strategic sources and the nation’s relationship to predecessors and rivals.

To inquire about empire is to ask what the United States has become as a result of its wealth, inventiveness, and ambitions. It is to confront lofty national aspirations with the realities of the violence that often attends imperial politics and thus to question both the costs and the opportunities of the current U.S. global ascendancy. With learning, dispassion, and clarity, Among Empires offers bold comparisons and an original account of American power. It confirms that the issue of empire must be a concern of every citizen.

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Among the Powers of the Earth
The American Revolution and the Making of a New World Empire
Eliga H. Gould
Harvard University Press, 2012

For most Americans, the Revolution’s main achievement is summed up by the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet far from a straightforward attempt to be free of Old World laws and customs, the American founding was also a bid for inclusion in the community of nations as it existed in 1776. America aspired to diplomatic recognition under international law and the authority to become a colonizing power itself.

As Eliga Gould shows in this reappraisal of American history, the Revolution was an international transformation of the first importance. To conform to the public law of Europe’s imperial powers, Americans crafted a union nearly as centralized as the one they had overthrown, endured taxes heavier than any they had faced as British colonists, and remained entangled with European Atlantic empires long after the Revolution ended.

No factor weighed more heavily on Americans than the legally plural Atlantic where they hoped to build their empire. Gould follows the region’s transfiguration from a fluid periphery with its own rules and norms to a place where people of all descriptions were expected to abide by the laws of Western Europe—“civilized” laws that precluded neither slavery nor the dispossession of Native Americans.

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The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture
Amy Kaplan
Harvard University Press, 2005

The United States has always imagined that its identity as a nation is insulated from violent interventions abroad, as if a line between domestic and foreign affairs could be neatly drawn. Yet this book argues that such a distinction, so obviously impracticable in our own global era, has been illusory at least since the war with Mexico in the mid-nineteenth century and the later wars against Spain, Cuba, and the Philippines. In this book, Amy Kaplan shows how U.S. imperialism--from "Manifest Destiny" to the "American Century"--has profoundly shaped key elements of American culture at home, and how the struggle for power over foreign peoples and places has disrupted the quest for domestic order.

The neatly ordered kitchen in Catherine Beecher's household manual may seem remote from the battlefields of Mexico in 1846, just as Mark Twain's Mississippi may seem distant from Honolulu in 1866, or W. E. B. Du Bois's reports of the East St. Louis Race Riot from the colonization of Africa in 1917. But, as this book reveals, such apparently disparate locations are cast into jarring proximity by imperial expansion. In literature, journalism, film, political speeches, and legal documents, Kaplan traces the undeniable connections between American efforts to quell anarchy abroad and the eruption of such anarchy at the heart of the empire.

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Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency
Edited by John D. Kelly, Beatrice Jauregui, Sean T. Mitchell, and Jeremy Walton
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Global events of the early twenty-first century have placed new stress on the relationship among anthropology, governance, and war. Facing prolonged insurgency, segments of the U.S. military have taken a new interest in anthropology, prompting intense ethical and scholarly debate. Inspired by these issues, the essays in Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency consider how anthropologists can, should, and do respond to military overtures, and they articulate anthropological perspectives on global war and power relations.

This book investigates the shifting boundaries between military and civil state violence; perceptions and effects of American power around the globe; the history of counterinsurgency doctrine and practice; and debate over culture, knowledge, and conscience in counterinsurgency. These wide-ranging essays shed new light on the fraught world of Pax Americana and on the ethical and political dilemmas faced by anthropologists and military personnel alike when attempting to understand and intervene in our world.

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Anti-Arab Racism in the USA
Where It Comes From and What It Means For Politics Today
Steven Salaita
Pluto Press, 2006
"A sobering analysis of anti-Arab racism, from neo-conservative to liberal, rooted in America's settler colonial past and seeping into every corner of our lives. Steven Salaita takes the reader into the crisis of Arab-American communities in the wake of 9/11. Written with passion, this lucid account of the dangers of American imperialism paints a dark picture of the agenda of the Bush administration not only in the Arab world but also for people of color at home."
Miriam Cooke, Professor, Duke University

"An impassioned and deeply compelling look at the origins, evolution, manifestations and implications of anti-Arab racism today. ... A tour-de-force."
Lisa Suhair Majaj, co-editor, Etel Adnan: Critical Reflections on the Arab-American Writer and Artist and Intersections: Gender, Nation, and Community in Arab Women¹s Novels

"Salaita dives head-first into the heart of racism in America and uses his personal experiences to help readers understand the mechanics of racism as it applies to Arabs, Muslims and people who look Middle Eastern in the post-Sept. 11 world."
Ray Hanania, journalist and filmmaker, author of I¹m Glad I Look Like a Terrorist: Growing up Arab in America and Arabs of Chicagoland

"A highly recommended read, not only for students of Middle East history, but for the average American who wants to know how we have become so intimately and yet so bitterly entwined with the people of the Middle East. ... Salaita has thoughtfully articulated a very regretful era of unabashed racism in American history."
Ramzy Baroud, editor, Palestine Chronicle and author of Searching Jenin

Today is a difficult time to be both Arab and American. Since 9/11 there has been a lot of criticism of America¹s involvement in the middle east. Yet there has been little analysis of how America treats citizens of Arab or middle eastern origin within its own borders.

Steven Salaita explores the reality of Anti-Arab racism in America. He blends personal narrative, theory and polemics to show how this deep-rooted racism affects everything from legislation to cultural life, shining a light on the consequences of Anti-Arab racism both at home and abroad.

Uniquely, the book shows how ingrained racist attitudes can be found within the progressive movements on the political left, as well as the right. Salaita argues that, under the guise of patriotism, Anti-Arab racism fuels support for policies such as the Patriot Act.

Salaita breaks down the façade of Anti-Arab racism with an insightful analysis, arguing for the urgency of a commitment to openness and inclusion in today¹s political climate.


Steven Salaita is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin -Whitewater. He writes frequently about Arab America and the Arab World.
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Anti-Foreignism and Western Learning in Early Modern Japan
The New Theses of 1825
Bob Wakabayashi
Harvard University Press, 1986

This study analyzes New Theses (Shinron), by Aizawa Seishisai (1781—1863), and its contribution to Japanese political thought and policy during the early–modern era. New Theses is found to be indispensable to our understanding of Japan's transformation from a feudal to a modern state.

Focusing on Aizawa, Wakabayashi traces the development of xenophobia during the Tokugawa period and examines the basis of anti–Western sentiment. He shows how knowledge of Christianity inspired Aizawa to develop thepotent concept of kokutai (“what is essential to a nation”). His analysis explains why the Edobakufu's policies of national isolation (sakoku) and armed expulsion of Westerners (jõi) gained widespread support in the late Tokugawa. Wakabayashi also describes how information on Western affairs and world conditions decisively altered Tokugawa Confucian conceptions of civilization and barbarism, and how this in turn enabled the Japanese to redefine their nation's relationship to China and the West.

Rather than place Aizawa and his New Theses of 1825 at the beginning of a process leading up to the Meiji Restoration, Wakabayashi discusses New Theses in conjunction with the bakufu's Expulsion Edict issued in the same year. He concludes that the convergence of the two events in 1825 marks the emergence of modern nationalism in Japan, and therefore should perhaps be seen as more epoch–making than the 1868 Restoration itself.

The study also presents a complete translation of New Theses.

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The Apathy of Empire
Cambodia in American Geopolitics
James A. Tyner
University of Minnesota Press, 2024

What America’s intervention in Cambodia during the Vietnam War reveals about Cold War–era U.S. national security strategy
 

The Apathy of Empire reveals just how significant Cambodia was to U.S. policy in Indochina during the Vietnam War, broadening the lens to include more than the often-cited incursion in 1970 or the illegal bombing after the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. This theoretically informed and thoroughly documented case study argues that U.S. military intervention in Cambodia revealed America’s efforts to construct a hegemonic spatial world order. 

 

James Tyner documents the shift of America’s post-1945 focus from national defense to national security. He demonstrates that America’s expansionist policies abroad, often bolstered by military power, were not so much about occupying territory but instead constituted the construction of a new normal for the exercise of state power. During the Cold War, Vietnam became the geopolitical lodestar of this unfolding spatial order. And yet America’s grand strategy was one of contradiction: to build a sovereign state (South Vietnam) based on democratic liberalism, it was necessary to protect its boundaries—in effect, to isolate it—through both covert and overt operations in violation of Cambodia’s sovereignty. The latter was deemed necessary for the former. 

 

Questioning reductionist geopolitical understandings of states as central or peripheral, Tyner explores this paradox to rethink the formulation of the Cambodian war as sideshow, revealing it instead as a crucial site for the formation of this new normal.

 

 

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Architects of Globalism
Building a New World Order during WWII
Patrick J. Hearden
University of Arkansas Press, 2002
Architects of Globalism provides the first comprehensive analysis of American Blueprints for the reconstruction of the world after the defeat of Hitler and his allies. Working closely with Roosevelt and Truman, State Department officials assumed primary responsibility for drafting these plans. Hearden shows that bitter rivalries frequently divided these officials, but that there was remarkable agreement among them on fundamental principles. These architects of globalism sought to create a liberal capitalist world system, in which foreign markets would absorb the surplus products of American farms and factories so that the United States would be able to maintain high levels of employment without further government intervention in the economy. Hearden shows these men contending with the vital issues of the day: decolonization and the dismantling of empires, relations with the Soviet Union, the formation of the United Nations, the economic reconstruction of war-torn countries, the forging of new relations with Germany and Japan, the twin problems of Palestine and petroleum. Based on extensive new research in primary sources — from policymakers' private letters and personal diaries to official correspondence — this exciting book documents the formation of the postwar world.
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Architecture and Development
Israeli Construction in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Settler Colonial Imagination, 1958-1973
Ayala Levin
Duke University Press, 2022
In Architecture and Development Ayala Levin charts the settler colonial imagination and practices that undergirded Israeli architectural development aid in Africa. Focusing on the “golden age” of Israel’s diplomatic relations in and throughout the continent from 1958 to 1973, Levin finds that Israel positioned itself as a developing-nation alternative in the competition over aid and influence between global North and global South. In analyses of the design and construction of prestigious governmental projects in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia, Levin details how architects, planners, and a trade union--owned construction company staged Israel as a new center of nonaligned expertise. These actors and professionals paradoxically capitalized on their settler colonial experience in Palestine, refashioning it as an alternative to Western colonial expertise. Levin traces how Israel became involved in the modernization of governance, education, and agriculture in Africa, as well as how African leaders chose to work with Israel to forge new South-South connections. In so doing, she offers new ways of understanding the role of architecture as a vehicle of postcolonial development and in the mobilization of development resources.
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Argentina, the United States, and the Anti-Communist Crusade in Central America, 1977–1984
Mis Lam#26
Ariel Armony
Ohio University Press, 1997

Ariel Armony focuses, in this study, on the role played by Argentina in the anti–Communist crusade in Central America. This systematic examination of Argentina’s involvement in the Central American drama of the late 1970s and early 1980s fine–tunes our knowledge of a major episode of the Cold War era.

Basing his study on exhaustive research in the United States, Argentina, and Nicaragua, Armony adroitly demolishes several key assumptions that have shaped the work of scholars in U.S. foreign policy, Argentine military politics, and Central American affairs.

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The Art of Neighbouring
Making Relations Across China's Borders
Edited by Martin Saxer and Juan Zhang
Amsterdam University Press, 2017
For the nations on its borders, the rapid rise of China represents an opportunity-but it also brings worry, especially in areas that have long been disputed territories of contact and exchange. This book gathers contributors from a range of disciplines to look at how people in those areas are actively engaging in making relationships across the border, and how those interactions are shaping life in the region-and in the process helping to reconfigure the cultural and political landscape of post-Cold War Asia.
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The ASEAN Miracle
A Catalyst for Peace
Kishore Mahbubani and Jeffery Sng
National University of Singapore Press, 2017
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a miracle. In an era of growing cultural pessimism, there is a pervasive belief that different civilizations cannot function together. Yet the ten countries of ASEAN are a thriving counter-example of coexistence. Here, more than 625 million people live together in peace.

In 1967, leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand struck a landmark agreement, forming ASEAN. They had realized that political and economic cooperation would bring greater stability and prosperity to the region. Fifty years and five additional countries later, the alliance has remained one of the world’s most successful collaborations. Kishore Mahbubani and Jeffery Sng explain how this partnership has benefited the ten member countries and why it should serve as a model for other regions of the world, challenging our assumptions about international cooperation. As the world turns to Asia and the United States and China jostle for dominance, the ASEAN region will have an undeniably powerful role in shaping our global systems. Mahbubani and Sng offer an important primer for understanding this immensely successful—and woefully underappreciated—regional organization.
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Asia and Postwar Japan
Deimperialization, Civic Activism, and National Identity
Simon Avenell
Harvard University Press, 2022

War, defeat, and the collapse of empire in 1945 touched every aspect of postwar Japanese society, profoundly shaping how the Japanese would reconstruct national identity and reengage with the peoples of Asia. While “America” offered a vision of re-genesis after cataclysmic ruin, “Asia” exposed the traumata of perpetration and the torment of ethnic responsibility. Obscured in the shadows of a resurgent postwar Japan lurked a postimperial specter whose haunting presence both complicated and confounded the spiritual rehabilitation of the nation.

Asia and Postwar Japan examines Japanese deimperialization from 1945 until the early twenty-first century. It focuses on the thought and activism of progressive activists and intellectuals as they struggled to overcome rigid preconceptions about “Asia,” as they grappled with the implications of postimperial responsibility, and as they forged new regional solidarities and Asian imaginaries. Simon Avenell reveals the critical importance of Asia in postwar Japanese thought, activism, and politics—Asia as a symbolic geography, Asia as a space for grassroots engagement, and ultimately, Asia as an aporia of identity and the source of a new politics of hope.

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The Asia-Europe Meeting
Contributing to a New Global Governance Architecture: The Eighth ASEM Summit in Brussels (2010)
Edited by Sebastian Bersick and Paul van der Velde
Amsterdam University Press, 2011
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process was designed in 1996 to bring Asia and Europe closer together. The Asia-Europe Meeting: Contributing to a New Global Governance Architecture focuses on the discussions and results of the eighth ASEM Summit that took place in October 2010 in Brussels. It gives a multifaceted picture of Asia-Europe convergences and disparities and helps to understand how these are dealt with through interregional political dialogue. Renowned academics and observers of Asia-Europe relations provide analysis and essential insights into the advantages and limitations of contemporary ASEM affairs, their most pertinent issues, and the role of ASEM as a constituent of the developing new global governance architecture. In addition, the book offers a unique insider’s perspective of the preparations and negotiations of the Brussels events. The Annex of the book furthermore includes ASEM related primary sources not available in any publicly accessible record.
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The Asian American Century
Warren I. Cohen
Harvard University Press, 2002

Warren Cohen reviews the role of the United States in East Asia over the past century, making a convincing case for American influence in Asia as generally positive. He illustrates specific ways in which American culture has affected Asians, from forms of government to entertainment, and offers valuable insights into the nature of cultural exchange. Americanization was most successful when Asians freely adopted cultural elements, while efforts to impose values generally failed, notably in the Philippines. And in a fascinating and eye-opening assessment of the "Asianization" of America, Cohen observes that Asian influences in food, film, music, medicine, and religion are now woven deeply--and permanently--into the American fabric. Indeed, Asians are changing American identity itself: by mid-century, approximately one in ten Americans will boast Asian ancestry.

In this lively look at the cultural bonds that continue to shape the relationship between East Asians and Americans, Cohen invites us to ponder the past and envision the future as the "American century" gives way to one with a decidedly more Asian focus.

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Asia-Pacific Security
An Introduction
Joanne Wallis and Andrew Carr, Editors
Georgetown University Press, 2016

This new textbook gathers an international roster of top security studies scholars to provide an overview of Asia-Pacific’s international relations and pressing contemporary security issues. It is a suitable introduction for undergraduate and masters students' use in international relations and security studies courses. Merging a strong theoretical component with rich contemporary and historical empirical examples, Asia-Pacific Security examines the region's key players and challenges as well as a spectrum of proposed solutions for improving regional stability. Major topics include in-depth looks at the United States' relationship with China; Security concerns presented by small and microstates, the region's largest group of nations; threats posed by terrorism and insurgency; the region's accelerating arms race and the potential for an Asian war; the possible roles of multilateralism, security communities, and human security as part of solutions to regional problems.

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Atlantis Lost
The American Experience with De Gaulle, 1958-1969
Sebastian Reyn
Amsterdam University Press, 2010

During the 1960s, Charles de Gaulle’s greatest quarrel was with the Americans. The American attitude towards this forceful European leader was, however, an equally defining part of the dispute. In this riveting study of transatlantic international relations, Sebastian Reyn traces American responses to de Gaulle’s foreign policy from 1958 to 1969, concluding that how Americans judged de Gaulle depended largely on whether their politics leaned to the left or the right.

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Atomic Diplomacy
Hiroshima and Potsdam
Gar Alperovitz
Pluto Press, 1995

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Attached to the World
On the Anchoring and Strategy of Dutch Foreign Policy
Ben Knapen, Gera Arts, Yvonne Kleistra, Martijn Klem, and Marijke Rem
Amsterdam University Press, 2011
Due to the rapid rise of globalization, the Netherlands has never been more politically, socially, and economically connected to other countries. To address this development, the Scientific Council for Government Policy is providing new reflections on Dutch foreign policy in this report. The most important suggestions include more governmental transparency, smart use of nongovernmental organizations, and adapting government structures to take advantage of the Netherlands’ position within Europe.
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Attacking Terrorism
Elements of a Grand Strategy
Audrey Kurth Cronin and James M. Ludes, Editors
Georgetown University Press, 2004

The definition and understanding of "terrorism" is in a state of unprecedented evolution. No longer are acts of terrorism rare and far-flung. Following the horrendous attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, U.S. citizens have had their eyes opened to a new world where this nightmare stalks the daily news and is never far from consciousness.

Attacking Terrorism brings together some of the world's finest experts, people who have made the study of this rising menace their life's work, to provide a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities of the campaign against international terrorism. Part one, "The Nature of Terrorism," provides an overview and foundation for the current campaign, placing it within the political and historical context of previous threats and responses. Part two, "The Responses to Terrorism," looks at the range of policy instruments required in an effective strategy against terrorism.

The contributors to this volume bring finely honed analyses and nuanced perspectives to the terrorist realities of the twenty-first century—history, analyses, and perspectives that have been too often oversimplified or myopic. They bring a new depth of understanding and myriad new dimensions to the crisis of terrorism. And they reach into aspects of counterterrorism that broaden our grasp on such important tools as diplomacy, intelligence and counterintelligence, psycho-political means, international law, criminal law enforcement, military force, foreign aid, and homeland security, showing not only how these tools are currently being employed but how often they are being underutilized as well.

Attacking Terrorism demonstrates that there are no easy answers—and that the road toward victory will be long and arduous, frightening and dangerous—but as Audrey Kurth Cronin states in her introduction, "As the campaign against international terrorism unfolds, a crucial forward-looking process of strategic reassessment is under way in the United States, and this book is intended to be a part of it."

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The August Trials
The Holocaust and Postwar Justice in Poland
Andrew Kornbluth
Harvard University Press, 2021

The first account of the August Trials, in which postwar Poland confronted the betrayal of Jewish citizens under Nazi rule but ended up fashioning an alibi for the past.

When six years of ferocious resistance to Nazi occupation came to an end in 1945, a devastated Poland could agree with its new Soviet rulers on little else beyond the need to punish German war criminals and their collaborators. Determined to root out the “many Cains among us,” as a Poznań newspaper editorial put it, Poland’s judicial reckoning spawned 32,000 trials and spanned more than a decade before being largely forgotten.

Andrew Kornbluth reconstructs the story of the August Trials, long dismissed as a Stalinist travesty, and discovers that they were in fact a scrupulous search for the truth. But as the process of retribution began to unearth evidence of enthusiastic local participation in the Holocaust, the hated government, traumatized populace, and fiercely independent judiciary all struggled to salvage a purely heroic vision of the past that could unify a nation recovering from massive upheaval. The trials became the crucible in which the Communist state and an unyielding society forged a foundational myth of modern Poland but left a lasting open wound in Polish-Jewish relations.

The August Trials draws striking parallels with incomplete postwar reckonings on both sides of the Iron Curtain, suggesting the extent to which ethnic cleansing and its abortive judicial accounting are part of a common European heritage. From Paris and The Hague to Warsaw and Kyiv, the law was made to serve many different purposes, even as it failed to secure the goal with which it is most closely associated: justice.

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