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First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power

Zimmermann, Warren

109 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0374179395 / ISBN 13: 9780374179397
Published by Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A.: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2002
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Mima Mia Books (Boston, MA, U.S.A.)

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AUTOGRAPHED AND INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Bookseller Inventory # 3H115

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Bibliographic Details

Title: First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made...

Publisher: Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A.: Farrar Straus & Giroux

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

About this title


“We were sure that we would win, that we should score the first great triumph in a mighty world-movement.”Theodore Roosevelt, 1904

Americans like to think they have no imperial past. In fact, the United States became an imperial nation within five short years a century ago (1898-1903), exploding onto the international scene with the conquest of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, and (indirectly) Panama. How did the nation become a player in world politics so suddenly—and what inspired the move toward imperialism in the first place?

The renowned diplomat and writer Warren Zimmermann seeks answers in the lives and relationships of five remarkable figures: the hyper-energetic Theodore Roosevelt, the ascetic naval strategist Alfred T. Mahan, the bigoted and wily Henry Cabot Lodge, the self-doubting moderate Secretary of State John Hay, and the hard-edged corporate lawyer turned colonial administrator Elihu Root. Faced with difficult choices, these extraordinary men, all close friends, instituted new political and diplomatic policies with intermittent audacity, arrogance, generosity, paternalism, and vision.

Zimmermann's discerning account of these five men also examines the ways they exploited the readiness of the American people to support a surge of expansion overseas. He makes it clear why no discussion of America's international responsibilities today can be complete without understanding how the United States claimed its global powers a century ago.

From the Inside Flap:

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 2002

"In the distinguished tradition of diplomat-historians like George Bancroft and George Kennan, Warren Zimmermann gives us a sensitive, insightful account of a moment when American leaders faced decisions that would shape world affairs for decades to come. Today, at another such moment, Zimmermann’s story—compelling in itself—could hardly be more timely."

—H. W. Brands, author of The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

"First Great Triumph provides a fresh account—balanced, lucid and informed—of the origins and direction of early American imperialism. As Zimmermann recognizes, the impulses that generated the resulting adventures in the expansion of national power and domain remain a significant influence on current foreign policy."

—John Morton Blum, Professor Emeritus, Yale University

"At a moment when Americans have become dramatically aware that they are citizens of an empire, no book could be more timely or illuminating than this engrossing study of our founding imperialists."

—Ronald Steel, author of Walter Lippmann and the American Century

"The year 1898 marked a milestone in the American experience: the first time in its history that a burgeoning United States extended its power into the world beyond its borders. Warren Zimmermann recalls this momentous turning point through the lives of the five dynamic men who set the nation on its new course, which it still follows today. First Great Triumph is vivid, authoritative and, above all, readable."

—Stanley Karnow, author of Vietnam: A History

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