Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

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9780141017006: Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

Is America the new world empire? Presidents from Lincoln to Bush may have denied it but, as Niall Ferguson's brilliant and provocative book shows, the US is in many ways the greatest imperial power of all time. What's more, it always has been an empire, expanding westwards throughout the nineteenth century and rising to global dominance in the twentieth. But is today's American colossus really equipped to play Atlas, bearing the weight of the world on its shoulders? The United States, Ferguson reveals, is an empire running on empty, weakened by chronic defecits of money, manpower and political will. When the New Rome falls, he warns, its collapse may come from within.'One of the timeliest and most topical books to have appeared in recent years' Literary Review'Yet another tour de force from a writer who displays all his usual gifts of forceful polemic, unconventional intelligence and elegant prose ... guaranteed to spark fierce debate' Irish Times'A bravura exploration of why Americans are not cut out to be imperialists but nonetheless have an empire. Vigorous, substantive, and worrying' Timothy Garton Ash

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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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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is America the new world empire? Presidents from Lincoln to Bush may have denied it but, as Niall Ferguson s brilliant and provocative book shows, the US is in many ways the greatest imperial power of all time. What s more, it always has been an empire, expanding westwards throughout the nineteenth century and rising to global dominance in the twentieth. But is today s American colossus really equipped to play Atlas, bearing the weight of the world on its shoulders? The United States, Ferguson reveals, is an empire running on empty, weakened by chronic defecits of money, manpower and political will. When the New Rome falls, he warns, its collapse may come from within. One of the timeliest and most topical books to have appeared in recent years Literary Review Yet another tour de force from a writer who displays all his usual gifts of forceful polemic, unconventional intelligence and elegant prose . guaranteed to spark fierce debate Irish Times A bravura exploration of why Americans are not cut out to be imperialists but nonetheless have an empire. Vigorous, substantive, and worrying Timothy Garton Ash. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780141017006

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is America the new world empire? Presidents from Lincoln to Bush may have denied it but, as Niall Ferguson s brilliant and provocative book shows, the US is in many ways the greatest imperial power of all time. What s more, it always has been an empire, expanding westwards throughout the nineteenth century and rising to global dominance in the twentieth. But is today s American colossus really equipped to play Atlas, bearing the weight of the world on its shoulders? The United States, Ferguson reveals, is an empire running on empty, weakened by chronic defecits of money, manpower and political will. When the New Rome falls, he warns, its collapse may come from within. One of the timeliest and most topical books to have appeared in recent years Literary Review Yet another tour de force from a writer who displays all his usual gifts of forceful polemic, unconventional intelligence and elegant prose . guaranteed to spark fierce debate Irish Times A bravura exploration of why Americans are not cut out to be imperialists but nonetheless have an empire. Vigorous, substantive, and worrying Timothy Garton Ash. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780141017006

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