Is America the new world Empire? The US government emphatically denies it. Despite the conquest of two sovereign states in as many years, despite the presence of more than 750 military installations across two-thirds of the world's countries and despite his stated intention "to extend the benefits of freedom - to every corner of the world," ...
Is America the new world Empire? The US government emphatically denies it. Despite the conquest of two sovereign states in as many years, despite the presence of more than 750 military installations across two-thirds of the world's countries and despite his stated intention "to extend the benefits of freedom - to every corner of the world," George W. Bush maintains that "America has never been an empire". "We don't seek empires," insists Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "We're not imperialistic." In Colossus Niall Ferguson reveals the paradoxical reality of American power. In economic and military terms, he argues, America may be the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. And its ambitions are closely akin to those of the last great Anglophone empire: to globalize free markets, the rule of law and representative government. Yet Americans shy away from the long-term commitments of manpower, time and money that are also an intrinsic part of empire. This, Ferguson argues, is an empire with an attention deficit disorder, imposing ever more unrealistic timescales on its overseas interventions. Worse, it's an empire in denial - a hyperpower that refuses to acknowledge the scale of its global responsibilities. And this chronic myopia may also apply to US domestic politics. When overstretch comes, he warns, it will come from within - and it will reveal that the American Colossus has more than merely feet of clay.
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Ferguson is the outstanding historian of his generation.
Apr 25, 2007
Provocative and Original
Colossus is an excellent read, and I would reccomend that every concerned citizen, student, and voter in the United States should pick it up. Ferguson clearly lays out the benefits of a "liberal American Empire" and calls on all Americans to come to a greater understanding of the term. The first half of the book documents the rise of America to global primacy, from its humble begginings up to the modern day issues with Islamists. The second half of the book warns that if the United States does not face the crises before it, they will consume the country from within. All together it makes a fascinating read, and brings an interesting perspective to the realm of American policy, both foreign and domestic.
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