Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz

How may perhaps the USA, a kingdom based at the rules of liberty and equality, have produced Abu Ghraib, torture memos, Plamegate, and warrantless wiretaps? Did the USA got down to develop into an empire? And if that is so, how has it reconciled its imperialism--and sometimes, its crimes--with the belief of liberty so forcefully expressed within the statement of Independence? Empire for Liberty tells the tale of guys who used the rhetoric of liberty to extra their imperial goals, and divulges that the search for empire has guided the nation's architects from the very beginning--and keeps to take action today.

Historian Richard Immerman paints nuanced snap shots of six unprecedented public figures who obviously inspired the process American empire: Benjamin Franklin, John Quincy Adams, William Henry Seward, Henry Cabot resort, John Foster Dulles, and Paul Wolfowitz. every one performed a pivotal function as empire builder and, apart from Adams, did so with no occupying the presidency. Taking readers from the founding of the republic to the worldwide battle on Terror, Immerman indicates how each one individual's impression arose from a prepared sensitivity to the worries of his occasions; how the trajectory of yankee empire was once relentless if no longer instantly; and the way those wise and robust participants formed their rhetoric approximately liberty to fit their needs.

yet as Immerman demonstrates during this well timed and provocative ebook, liberty and empire have been on a collision path. And within the worldwide battle on Terror and the profession of Iraq, they violently collided.

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Through the Hoover management Fortune profiled him as one in every of 9 (Dulles used to be first at the checklist) “20th century specimens of the nice American lawyer. ”4 The dream Dulles lived was once that of so much americans through the Roaring Twenties. Few completed it, yet those that didn't may possibly compensate with tub gin or sublimate with the exploits of Babe Ruth and Al Capone. but this fixation on American-ness didn't cease U. S. empire-building, nor did the passivity of Presidents Harding and Calvin Coolidge. either, encouraged via Secretary of trade Herbert Hoover, who succeeded to the presidency himself in 1929, inspired company leaders, cultural manufacturers, and others within the deepest quarter to unfold America’s effect, pursuits, and beliefs in another country. What they sought, and what they have been wildly confident approximately buying, used to be an empire diversified from that predicted through both inn or Wilson. it's going to now not require the strength of palms. it should no longer depend upon foreign associations. Generated by way of a procedure equivalent to Seward’s “political gravitation,” it used to be an “Empire with no Tears. ”5 Dulles was once one in every of its architects. He placed on the provider of his Sullivan & Cromwell consumers his exceptional felony brain, his already substantial overseas event, and an international outlook nurtured from his days on his grandfather’s knee. His wealth grew commensurately with theirs, and theirs grew exponentially as they received markets and secured investments in the course of the global. furthermore, Dulles additionally served his consumers by way of supporting within the formula of first the Dawes Plan, the precursor to the younger Plan, the younger Plan itself, and eventually the Polish Stabilization Plan, designed principally by means of his buddy Jean Monnet. Remedying the structural flaws in Europe’s economic climate, he well-known, was once important to the healthiness of America’s. 172  bankruptcy five greater than his predicament for his patron base and private fortune drove the eye Dulles paid to the foreign order and America’s place inside it. If something, he used to be extra confident than ever after Wilson’s mess ups at Versailles and at domestic that worldwide peace and civilization demanded U. S. management. in truth, it demanded U. S. dominance. in comparison to the intriguing family advancements, he feared, an empire with out tears, even a filthy rich person who championed liberty (ironically, by means of the tip of the Twenties many americans linked liberty with the discredited Herbert Hoover), might insufficiently seize the public’s mind's eye to avoid a retreat into parochialism if now not isolationism. He enthusiastically joined with like-minded internationalists to set up the Council on international family members, and in 1922 released an editorial within the inaugural factor of its magazine, overseas ­Affairs. Over next a long time he released many extra. Dulles additionally was once an lively player within the Carnegie Endowment for foreign Peace (of which his grandfather used to be a founding member), the overseas Chamber of trade, the international coverage organization, and different organisations devoted to increasing America’s around the world effect.

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