From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776

From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776

From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776

From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776

Synopsis

The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation in print. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize-winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of prestigious Bancroft and Parkman Prizes.From Colony to Superpoweris the only thematic volume commissioned for the series. Here George C. Herring uses foreign relations as the lens through which to tell the story of America's dramatic rise from thirteen disparate colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast to the world's greatest superpower.
A sweeping account of United States' foreign relations and diplomacy, this magisterial volume documents America's interaction with other peoples and nations of the world. Herring tells a story of stunning successes and sometimes tragic failures, captured in a fast-paced narrative that illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation, and highlights its ongoing impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. He shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of an "American way" of life. And Herring does all this in a story rich in human drama and filled with epic events. Statesmen such as Benjamin Franklin and Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman and Dean Acheson played key roles in America's rise to world power. But America's expansion as a nation also owes much to the adventurers and explorers, the sea captains, merchants and captains of industry, the missionaries and diplomats, who discovered or charted new lands, developed new avenues of commerce, and established and defended the nation's interests in foreign lands.
From the American Revolution to the fifty-year struggle with communism and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq,From Colony to Superpowertells the dramatic story of America's emergence as superpower--its birth in revolution, its troubled present, and its uncertain future.

Excerpt

From Colony to Superpower is the sole topical volume in The Oxford History of the United States, whose eleven other titles all address discrete chronological periods between the European discovery of the Americas and the dawn of the twenty-first century. George C. Herring has thus taken on a formidable challenge: crafting a coherent historical narrative around the theme of foreign relations through more than two hundred years of American nationhood, while neither ignoring nor repeating material covered elsewhere in the series.

He has succeeded more than admirably. To be sure, readers of other Oxford History volumes will find familiar items here, from the War of 1812 to the high-stakes diplomacy of the Civil War era, the geo-political strategies of World War II, and the disillusioning debacle of Vietnam. But Herring, a renowned scholar of the Vietnam imbroglio, brings strikingly fresh perspective to his accounts of each of those episodes, and many others. He also artfully weaves them into what is undoubtedly the single most comprehensive interpretation of the entirety of America’s foreign relations yet written.

From Colony to Superpower is not a mere textbook, faithfully recounting all salient episodes in the history of American diplomacy—though its coverage is so thorough that it will surely become an authoritative reference work. Herring’s accomplishment is greater than that. He has written not simply a history of American diplomacy, but a history of diplomacy’s role in shaping America’s unique history and its singular identity, as well as its effects on the wider world. He also has much to say about the stubbornly distinctive character of American statecraft, from the time of the Founders to the present.

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