The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000

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9780143036517: The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000

Americans often think of their nation’s history as a movement toward ever-greater democracy, equality, and freedom. Wars in this story are understood both as necessary to defend those values and as exceptions to the rule of peaceful progress. In The Dominion of War, historians Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton boldly reinterpret the development of the United States, arguing instead that war has played a leading role in shaping North America from the sixteenth century to the present.

Anderson and Cayton bring their sweeping narrative to life by structuring it around the lives of eight men—Samuel de Champlain, William Penn, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Ulysses S. Grant, Douglas MacArthur, and Colin Powell. This approach enables them to describe great events in concrete terms and to illuminate critical connections between often-forgotten imperial conflicts, such as the Seven Years’ War and the Mexican-American War, and better-known events such as the War of Independence and the Civil War. The result is a provocative, highly readable account of the ways in which republic and empire have coexisted in American history as two faces of the same coin. The Dominion of War recasts familiar triumphs as tragedies, proposes an unconventional set of turning points, and depicts imperialism and republicanism as inseparable influences in a pattern of development in which war and freedom have long been intertwined.   It offers a new perspective on America’s attempts to define its role in the world at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

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From the Back Cover:

"A stunning and timely book! An imaginative retelling of American history from the point of view of empire and war by two very talented historians."
-- Gordon S. Wood, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

"A must read in view of our present situation in the world. Anderson and Cayton take off the blinders and show us what the past is really like."
--Vine Deloria, Jr., author of Custer Died for Your Sins

"This sweeping reinterpretation places war and empire where they should be - not as exceptions to the American past, but as central to it, and therefore to the United States today."
-- Michael Sherry, author of In the Shadows of War: The United States Since the 1930s

"In my judgment, Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton have given us the most important book ever written on the connection between war and American expansion. The erroneous overemphasis on American exceptionalism receives, in The Dominion of War, another telling body blow. Their story of American imperialism shows how much we have been like other powerful nations in history. It should be required reading for our political leaders today as they grapple with the consequences of American overstretch."

-- Don Higginbotham, Dowd Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of The War of American Independence

About the Author:

Fred Anderson is professor of history at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author of several books, including Crucible of War, which won the Francis Parkman and Mark Lynton prizes.

Andrew Cayton, distinguished professor of history at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, is the author or editor of eight books, including Frontier Indiana and Ohio: The History of a People.

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Americans often think of their nationÂs history as a movement toward ever-greater democracy, equality, and freedom. Wars in this story are understood both as necessary to defend those values and as exceptions to the rule of peaceful progress. In The Dominion of War, historians Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton boldly reinterpret the development of the United States, arguing instead that war has played a leading role in shaping North America from the sixteenth century to the present. Anderson and Cayton bring their sweeping narrative to life by structuring it around the lives of eight menÂSamuel de Champlain, William Penn, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Ulysses S. Grant, Douglas MacArthur, and Colin Powell. This approach enables them to describe great events in concrete terms and to illuminate critical connections between often-forgotten imperial conflicts, such as the Seven Years War and the Mexican-American War, and better-known events such as the War of Independence and the Civil War. The result is a provocative, highly readable account of the ways in which republic and empire have coexisted in American history as two faces of the same coin. The Dominion of War recasts familiar triumphs as tragedies, proposes an unconventional set of turning points, and depicts imperialism and republicanism as inseparable influences in a pattern of development in which war and freedom have long been intertwined. It offers a new perspective on AmericaÂs attempts to define its role in the world at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143036517

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