Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

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9780713997705: Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

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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Review:

"The United States today is an empire—but a peculiar kind of empire," writes Niall Ferguson. Despite overwhelming military, economic, and cultural dominance, America has had a difficult time imposing its will on other nations, mostly because the country is uncomfortable with imperialism and thus unable to use this power most effectively and decisively. The origin of this attitude and its persistence is a principal theme of this thought-provoking book, including how domestic politics affects foreign policy, whether it is politicians worried about the next election or citizens who "like Social Security more than national security." Ferguson, a British historian, has no objection to an American empire, as long as it is a liberal one actively underwriting the free exchange of goods, labor, and capital. Further, he writes that "empire is more necessary in the twenty-first century than ever before" as a means to "contain epidemics, depose tyrants, end local wars and eradicate terrorist organizations." The sooner America embraces this role and acts on it confidently, the better. Ferguson contrasts this persistent anti-imperialistic urge with the attitude held by the British Empire and suggests that America has much to learn from that model if it is to achieve its stated foreign policy objectives of spreading social freedom, democracy, development, and the free market to the world. He suggests that the U.S. must be willing to send money, civilians, and troops for a sustained period of time to troubled spots if there is to be real change—as in Japan and Germany after World War II--an idea that many American citizens and leaders now find repulsive. Rather than devoting limited resources and striving to get complex jobs done in a rush, Americans must be willing to integrate themselves into a foreign culture until a full Americanization has occurred, he writes. Overall, a trenchant examination of a uniquely American dilemma and its implications for the rest of the world. --Shawn Carkonen

About the Author:

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is the author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, High Financier, Civilization and The Great Degeneration. His Kissinger, a feature-length film based on his interviews with Henry Kissinger, won the 2011 New York Film Festival prize for best documentary. His many other prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).

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Ferguson, Niall:
Verlag: Allen Lane, (2004)
ISBN 10: 0713997702 ISBN 13: 9780713997705
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Buchbeschreibung Allen Lane, 2004. Gebundene Ausgabe. Buchzustand: Gut. 400 Seiten SK etwas gebräunt, momentan leichter Tabakgeruch, bei Bestellung unter Umständen komplett verflogen, da Bücher gut und ständig belüftet werden. Rik221414 Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 721. Artikel-Nr. 33613

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