The American Century: The Rise and Decline of the United States as a World Power

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9780300057218: The American Century: The Rise and Decline of the United States as a World Power
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This book-the first intellectual and cultural history of America`s evolving status as a world power in the twentieth century-addresses the questions of why the United States assumed a pre-eminent world role after World War II, and why its role has declined since the Vietnam War.

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As reflected in the subtitle, The Rise and Decline of the United States as a World Power, Donald White argues that the U.S. has been shrinking in stature for the past 30 years due to a lack of vision and clear goals regarding foreign policy. The absence of "purpose," as the author terms it, has had its effect on the populace by draining some of the pride and optimism that was felt prior to World War II--when America's role was defined and its strength unquestioned. This strength is still present in terms of military and economic might, but without a plan, this power can appear to be more a curse than an asset. The American Century uses not only historical data and theory to support its claims, but also artistic reflections and insights, lending an interesting cultural twist on a seemingly political discussion.

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Why did the United States assume a preeminent world role after World War II, and why has that role declined since the Vietnam War? This magisterial book - the first intellectual and cultural history of America's evolving status as a world power in the twentieth century-addresses these questions by examining Americans' perceptions of themselves and of the world during this period. Drawing on the writings of leading intellectuals, speeches by politicians, popular periodicals, movies and television, opinion polls, and dozens of other sources, Donald W. White explores what Americans thought about power in the twentieth century, how they evaluated America's expanding world role and the confrontations of the Cold War, and how they perceived the erosion of this unprecedented accumulation of power in the years after the Vietnam War. With colorful anecdotal detail, White presents a new perspective on foreign affairs during these years, recounting the global spread of American democratic philosophy, technology, industrial goods, literature, arts, and way of life against a backdrop of military crises and diplomatic negotiations. In the process he identifies major trends in past American foreign policy and suggests possibilities for the prospects of international relations in the future.

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9780300078787: The American Century: The Rise and Decline of the United States as a World Power

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ISBN 10: 0300078781 ISBN 13: 9780300078787
Publisher: Yale University Press, 1999
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