Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz

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9780691156071: Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz
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How could the United States, a nation founded on the principles of liberty and equality, have produced Abu Ghraib, torture memos, Plamegate, and warrantless wiretaps? Did America set out to become an empire? And if so, how has it reconciled its imperialism--and in some cases, its crimes--with the idea of liberty so forcefully expressed in the Declaration of Independence? Empire for Liberty tells the story of men who used the rhetoric of liberty to further their imperial ambitions, and reveals that the quest for empire has guided the nation's architects from the very beginning--and continues to do so today.


Historian Richard Immerman paints nuanced portraits of six exceptional public figures who manifestly influenced the course of American empire: Benjamin Franklin, John Quincy Adams, William Henry Seward, Henry Cabot Lodge, John Foster Dulles, and Paul Wolfowitz. Each played a pivotal role as empire builder and, with the exception of Adams, did so without occupying the presidency. Taking readers from the founding of the republic to the Global War on Terror, Immerman shows how each individual's influence arose from a keen sensitivity to the concerns of his times; how the trajectory of American empire was relentless if not straight; and how these shrewd and powerful individuals shaped their rhetoric about liberty to suit their needs.


But as Immerman demonstrates in this timely and provocative book, liberty and empire were on a collision course. And in the Global War on Terror and the occupation of Iraq, they violently collided.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Empire for Liberty places both the theory and the practice of empire inside history. Richard Immerman's complex, ironic account of the American empire and its relation to the concept of liberty is an essential analysis of how the United States became the kind of power it is today and where it might now be going."--Marilyn B. Young, New York University

"Immerman, one of the most accomplished and distinguished historians of twentieth-century U.S. foreign relations, tackles a subject of enormous importance. This short book fills a vacuum by presenting a brisk but analytically challenging synthesis through the lives of six individuals who played pivotal roles in the growth, evolution, and maturation of the American empire."--Robert J. McMahon, author of The Limits of Empire: The United States and Southeast Asia since World War II

"Game over. With the appearance of Richard Immerman's brilliantly conceived and incisive book, the post-9/11 competition to map the origins, evolution, and present-day afflictions of the American empire has ended. Empire for Liberty sweeps the field."--Andrew J. Bacevich, author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism

"This is a superb book about a timely subject. Immerman tackles the idea of empire, a concept that Americans have preferred not to talk about and historians have shied away from. Given the importance of the topic and the ongoing debate over the future of U.S. foreign policy, this book should attract a readership beyond academia."--George C. Herring, author of From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776

"Forceful, engaging, and provocative. Immerman makes a significant contribution to American history by synthesizing the ways representative policymakers have conceived of the question of American empire. Empire for Liberty will be a well-read and important book."--Jeffrey A. Engel, editor of The China Diary of George H. W. Bush

About the Author:

Richard H. Immerman is the Edward J. Buthusiem Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow in History and the Marvin Wachman Director of the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University. His books include John Foster Dulles: Piety, Pragmatism, and Power in U.S. Foreign Policy and The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention.

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. How could the United States, a nation founded on the principles of liberty and equality, have produced Abu Ghraib, torture memos, Plamegate, and warrantless wiretaps? Did America set out to become an empire? And if so, how has it reconciled its imperialism--and in some cases, its crimes--with the idea of liberty so forcefully expressed in the Declaration of Independence? Empire for Liberty tells the story of men who used the rhetoric of liberty to further their imperial ambitions, and reveals that the quest for empire has guided the nation's architects from the very beginning--and continues to do so today. Historian Richard Immerman paints nuanced portraits of six exceptional public figures who manifestly influenced the course of American empire: Benjamin Franklin, John Quincy Adams, William Henry Seward, Henry Cabot Lodge, John Foster Dulles, and Paul Wolfowitz. Each played a pivotal role as empire builder and, with the exception of Adams, did so without occupying the presidency.Taking readers from the founding of the republic to the Global War on Terror, Immerman shows how each individual's influence arose from a keen sensitivity to the concerns of his times; how the trajectory of American empire was relentless if not straight; and how these shrewd and powerful individuals shaped their rhetoric about liberty to suit their needs. But as Immerman demonstrates in this timely and provocative book, liberty and empire were on a collision course. And in the Global War on Terror and the occupation of Iraq, they violently collided. Seller Inventory # BZE9780691156071

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