Colossus: The Price of America's Empire

Colossus: The Price of America's Empire


By (author) Niall Ferguson


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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
  • Format: Hardback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 236mm x 33mm | 703g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Hawthorn
  • ISBN 10: 1594200130
  • ISBN 13: 9781594200137
  • Sales rank: 886,165

Product description

Is America an empire? Certainly not, according to our government. Despite the conquest of two sovereign states in as many years, despite the presence of more than 750 military installations in two thirds of the world's countries and despite his stated intention "to extend the benefits of 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."Nonsense, says Niall Ferguson. In Colossus he argues that in both military and economic terms America is nothing less than the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Just like the British Empire a century ago, the United States aspires to globalize free markets, the rule of law, and representative government. In theory it's a good project, says Ferguson. Yet Americans shy away from the long-term commitments of manpower and money that are indispensable if rogue regimes and failed states really are to be changed for the better. Ours, he 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 simply refuses to admit the scale of its global responsibilities. And the negative consequences will be felt at home as well as abroad. In an alarmingly persuasive final chapter Ferguson warns that this chronic myopia also applies to our domestic responsibilities. When overstretch comes, he warns, it will come from within--and it will reveal that more than just the feet of the American colossus is made of clay.

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Author information

Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. The bestselling author of "Paper and Iron," "The House of Rothschild," "The Pity of War," "The Cash Nexus," "Empire," and "Colossus," he also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world. Since 2003 he has written and presented three highly successful television documentary series for British television: "Empire," "American Colossus," and, most recently, "The War of the World."

Review quote

"Every page of Colossus is provocative." --Ernest May"Amid the seemingly endless writings and decisions about 'America as Empire, ' the most prominent recent voice is that of Niall Ferguson." --Paul Kennedy, New York Review of Books

Table of contents

ColossusIntroduction Part I—Rise 1. The Limits of the American Empire 2. The Imperialism of Anti-Imperialism 3. The Civilization of Clashes 4. Splendid Multilateralism Part II—Fall? 5. The Case for Liberal Empire 6. Going Home or Organizing Hypocrisy 7. "Impire": Europe Between Brussels and Byzantium 8. The Closing Door Conclusion: Looking Homeward Statistical Appendix Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index