Dangerous Nation: America's Foreign Policy from Its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century

Dangerous Nation: America's Foreign Policy from Its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century

Paperback Vintage

By (author) Robert Kagan

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  • Publisher: Vintage Books USA
  • Format: Paperback | 527 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 208mm x 30mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 6 November 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0375724915
  • ISBN 13: 9780375724916
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 505,911

Product description

Most Americans believe the United States had been an isolationist power until the twentieth century. This is wrong. In a riveting and brilliantly revisionist work of history, Robert Kagan, bestselling author of "Of Paradise and Power, " shows how Americans have in fact steadily been increasing their global power and influence from the beginning. Driven by commercial, territorial, and idealistic ambitions, the United States has always perceived itself, and been seen by other nations, as an international force. This is a book of great importance to our understanding of our nation's history and its role in the global community.

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Author information

Robert Kagan is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he is director of the U.S. Leadership Project. He is the author of "A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1990 "and coeditor with William Kristol, of "Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy." Kagan served in the State Department from 1984-1988. He lives in Brussels with his wife and two children.

Review quote

"This is a landmark study that belongs in the library of every serious student of American foreign policy. A brilliant and original survey that challenges long-held assumptions and puts important but forgotten events and ideas under the spotlight, Dangerous Nation is a tour de force of historical writing that should change the way many people view the country's past." -Walter Russell Mead, "Foreign Affairs" "Kagan again assumes the stance of "enfant terrible", assailing the keepers of the conventional wisdom.... [His] trashing of orthodoxy [and] ... systematic dismantling of accepted dogmas is refreshingly provocative...."Dangerous Nation" draws from a deep well of historical scholarship about American foreign relations." -David M. Kennedy, "The Washington Post" "[C]arefully crafted ... an engaging interpretation of American history, made the more so by the author's skill in presenting it. . . Kagan is able to give fresh interpretations to familiar landmarks of American history." -Edmund S. Morgan, "The New York Review of Books" "An outstanding reading experience. Kagan convincingly challenges the received wisdom that 19th-century America was essentially isolationist by showing that from its birth this nation aggressively expanded its frontiers across the entire continent, ousting the British, Spanish, French, Russians, and Mexicans from what are now the 50 states. . .Massively researched, well argued, thought-provoking, and constantly surprising. . . an essential addition to academic collections on American and diplomatic history." -"Library Journal" "Brilliant and absorbing . . . Many critics of U.S. foreign policy will not need persuading that America is a dangerous nation . . . "Dangerous Nation" is not aimed at them. It is meant for the general reader, of course, and for those in sympathy with the projection of American power in recent times . . . But the book is also intended for Democrats, who may at first hate it. . . They may want to think before they strike. As it happens, Democrats have special reason to look forward to the 20th-century sequel, for Mr. Kagan's narrative of American power is, in many ways, the story of their own party. . . There should be something in this project for almost everyone." -Brendan Simms, "The Wall Street Journal" ""Dangerous Nation "is a first-rate work of history, based on prodigious reading and enlivened by a powerful prose style. It also casts a bright light on America's role in the world-and on its manifold tensions with other countries. . . Helps bring long-dead diplomatic history to life." -"The Economist" "Provocative . . . Powerfully persuasive, sophisticated." -"Publishers Weekly", starred review "From the Hardcover edition."

Table of contents

Introduction 1. The First Imperialists 2. The Foreign Policy of Revolution 3. Liberalism and Expansion 4. To the Farewell Address and Beyond 5. “Peaceful Conquest” 6. A Republic in the Age of Monarchy 7. The Foreign Policy of Slavery 8. Manifest Destinies 9. Beyond the National Interest 10. War and Progress 11. From Power to Ambition, from Ambition to Power 12. Morality and Hegemony Notes Bibliography Acknowledgments Index