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From Colony to Superpower
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Table of Contents

Maps Editor's Introduction Introduction 1. "To Begin the World Over Again": Foreign Policy and the Birth of the Republic, 1776-1778 2. "None Who Can Make Us Afraid": The New Republic in a Hostile World, 1789-1801 3. "Purified as by Fire": Republicanism Imperiled and Reaffirmed, 1801-1815 4. "Leave the Rest to Us": The Assertive Republic, 1815-1837 5. A Dose of Arsenic: Slavery, Expansion, and the Road to Disunion, 1837-1861 6. "Last Best Hope": The Union, the Confederacy, and Civil War Diplomacy, 1861-1877 7. "A Good Enough England": Foreign Relations in the Gilded Age, 1877-1893 8. The War of 1898, the New Empire, and the Dawn of the American Century, 1893-1901 9. "Bursting with Good Intentions": The United States in World Affairs, 1901-1913 10. "A New Age": Wilson, the Great War, and the Quest for a New World Order, 1913-1921 11. Involvement Without Commitment, 1921-1931 12. The Great Transformation: Depression, Isolationism, and War, 1931-1941 13. "Five Continents and Seven Seas": World War II and the Rise of American Globalism, 1941-1945 14. "A Novel Burden Far from Our Shores:" Truman, the Cold War, and the Revolution in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1945-1953 15. Coexistence and Crises, 1953-1961 16. Gulliver's Troubles: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Limits of Power, 1961-1968 17. Nixon, Kissinger, and the End of the Postwar Era, 1969-1974 18. Foreign Policy in an Age of Dissonance, 1974-1981 19. "A Unique and Extraordinary Moment": Gorbachev, Reagan, Bush, and the End of the Cold War, 1981-1991 20. "The Strength of a Giant": America as Hyperpower, 1992-2007 Bibliographical Essay Index

About the Author

George C. Herring is Alumni Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Kentucky. A leading authority on U.S. foreign relations, he is the former editor of Diplomatic History and a past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He is the author of America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975, among other books.

Reviews

Winner of the Robert H. Ferrell Book Award of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction "The strength of this book is the author's Herculean power of synthesis...Herring recaptures a quarter-millennium of American foreign policy with fluidity and felicity...we have long been waiting for a single-volume history like this one, and "From Colony to Superpower" deserves a place on the bookshelf."--New York Times Book Review "Its first achievement is its feat of inclusiveness, managed by making quick work of many interesting subplots of the United States' rich and complex relations with the world...The narrative power lies partly in identifying themes that gradually give a strong organizational cohesion to his story...It is revisionism of the best kind, quiet but insistent, reinforced by archival evidence and deftly drawn parallels."--Howard W. French, The New York Times "An impressive, up-to-date diplomatic history of the US that masterfully employs traditional, revisionnist, and in many instances synthetic interpretations in a story line from Colonial America to the second Bush administration.... This will be an award-winning book that becomes the standard text for US diplomatic history. A superb accomplishment. Essential."--C.W. Haury, CHOICE "The only volume in the series that spans the entirety of the American past, From Colony to Superpower could not be more timely, more colorful, or more compelling for Americans seeking to understand the causes and the consequences of the quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq. Herring is well equipped to provide that analysis."--The Chronicle of Higher Education "A sweeping and lucid history...This authoritative work is destined to grace the bookshelves not only of scholars, but also of nonspecialists who want to understand how the US has engaged the world from the American Revolution to the administration of George W. Bush."--Christian Science Monitor "A model of clarity."--Dallas Morning News "This latest entry in the outstanding Oxford History of the United States is continually engrossing in its overview of American diplomacy... Herring's lucid prose and thought-provoking arguments give this large tome a pace that never flags."--Publishers Weekly starred review "The only themed volume so far in the 'Oxford History of the United States' series, this work portrays the history of the world's foremost republic through the prism of its international interactions. Striking is the emergence, through Herring's clear and compelling storytelling, of certain themes in the way the United States has conducted and still conducts itself among nations...Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries."--Library Journal "A magisterial look at 232 years of diplomacy."--Reviews in American History "Magisterial."--National Interest "A mammoth volume that tracks the vagaries of American foreign policy over more than two centuries. It is encyclopedic in its reach, but remains a pleasurable read. Herring's goal is more to explain than judge, and he performs the former with admirable skill."--Global Research "George Herring's colossal history of US foreign relations has earned fully-deserved praise for its staggering erudition, lucid prose and brisk style."--The National "Impeccably written and deeply researched."--The Veteran: The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America "Riveting."--The Post and Courier "The purpose of this ambitious and massive work is to track and explain how 13 separate, vulnerable British colonies evolved to carve out a position of dominance in world affairs. This is the latest volume in the Oxford History of the United States series...Herring effectively dismisses the myth of American isolationism. Even before our Revolution, Americans had strong economic ties with several European powers, and our diplomatic efforts were essential in facilitating the westward movement. Herring also deftly deals with the often-conflicting strains of idealism and pragmatism that have motivated our policy makers. Patient and well-informed general readers will find this well worth the effort."--Booklist "In this splendidly detailed account, George Herring expertly guides us through the rich and fascinating story of America's foreign relations. This is history on a grand scale, clearly and elegantly rendered. Anyone who wants to understand how the United States has come to occupy its current place on the world stage should read this magisterial book."--Fredrik Logevall, co-author of A People and a Nation "Readers of his work knew that George Herring's review of U.S. foreign policy would be scrupulously fair-minded but may not have anticipated so broad a sweep and so deeply felt an analysis. In swift and highly readable prose, Professor Herring explains us unforgettably to ourselves."--A. J. Langguth, author of Our Vietnam "Authored by a distinguished historian of American foreign policy, this is a landmark work in its scope, clarity of writing, depth of research, and significant interpretations of, among others, the 'myth' of historic American isolationism, the revealing relationships between how Americans behave at home and how they behave abroad, a most bittersweet Cold War, and the centuries-long dependence of Americans on beliefs in their supposed exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny. It offers a most rewarding lesson about how the history of U.S. foreign policy is to be examined, if not always, given the policy's often tragic results, praised."--Walter LaFeber, Cornell University "George Herring's well-paced, readable, and up-to-date history of U.S. foreign relations will be the authoritative account for this generation."--Emily S. Rosenberg, University of California, Irvine "In this splendidly detailed account, George Herring expertly guides us through the rich and fascinating story of America's foreign relations. This is history on a grand scale, clearly and elegantly rendered. Anyone who wants to understand how the United States has come to occupy its current place on the world stage should read this magisterial book."--Fredrik Logevall, co-author of A People and a Nation "Readers of his work knew that George Herring's review of U.S. foreign policy would be scrupulously fair-minded but may not have anticipated so broad a sweep and so deeply felt an analysis. In swift and highly readable prose, Professor Herring explains us unforgettably to ourselves."--A. J. Langguth, author of Our Vietnam "Authored by a distinguished historian of American foreign policy, this is a landmark work in its scope, clarity of writing, depth of research, and significant interpretations of, among others, the 'myth' of historic American isolationism, the revealing relationships between how Americans behave at home and how they behave abroad, a most bittersweet Cold War, and the centuries-long dependence of Americans on beliefs in their supposed exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny. It offers a most rewarding lesson about how the history of U.S. foreign policy is to be examined, if not always, given the policy's often tragic results, praised."--Walter LaFeber, Cornell University "George Herring's well-paced, readable, and up-to-date history of U.S. foreign relations will be the authoritative account for this generation."--Emily S. Rosenberg, University of California, Irvine "Blend[s] thorough treatment and engaging style to bridge the divide between scholarly expert and interested reader.... A thorough, accurate, detailed delineation of the chief policy initiatives of an era."--Books and Culture "A rewarding literary sojourn through the evolution of American foreign policy.... A most worthy addition to any historian's library."--Sea History

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