American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization

American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization

American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization

American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization

Synopsis

American Empire challenges our deepest assumptions about the rise of American globalism in the twentieth century and puts geography back into the History of what is called the American Century.

Excerpt

In November 2001, U. S. forces seized a rural part of southern Afghanistan near Kandahar, and in a staged display jubilant marines hoisted an American flag on the highest point of the terrain. the reference to Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders on San Juan Hill at the dawn of the first moment of U. S. global ambition or to U. S. marines on Iwo Jima during the second moment was deliberate and as revealing as it was precise. Officially this was a “war on terrorism” fought by an “international coalition, ” but the marines were under no illusion as to where the nexus of global power lay or who the ultimate victors would be. At the zenith of the third moment of U. S. global ambition, this conflation of national self-interest with global universalism has become starkly evident around the world.

This manuscript was effectively completed before the so-called war on terrorism began, but the historical geography of American globalism has everything to do with understanding the causes of the first major war of the twenty-first century. Just as the earlier two moments of U. S. global ambition were punctuated by war, so too after 7 October 2001 is the third moment. Earlier conflicts such as the 1991 war against Iraq were limited and, conceived as such, compared with the declared global scope of this new war. Initiated four weeks after hijacked commercial airliners sliced into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, the new war began with the U. S. military targeting an already devastated Afghanistan. It continued with an escalation of “antiterrorist” assaults from Chechnya to the Philippines, InShy . . .

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