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Exploring the diplomatic negotiations that led to the division of the Samoan Islands between Germany, Great Britain, and the United States in 1899, this book is a significant study of international relations between the three late-19th-century superpowers. The author demonstrates how the Pacific islands were pawns in an international diplomatic chess game that involved Britain’s early but often unwilling acquisition of Pacific territory, Germany’s scramble to get its share to bolster its prestige and trading interests, and the United States’ late but insistent demands for its place in the Pacific. What emerges in The Samoan Tangle is a pivotal study of the development of Samoan political structure that calls to mind how often the Pacific Islands have been used to satisfy great power plays on the other side of the globe.
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Paul M. Kennedy is the J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History and the director of International Security Studies at Yale University. He is the author or editor of 19 books, including The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, The War Plans of the Great Powers, The Realities Behind Diplomacy, and The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
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