Cascoly Books: American Empire

Cascoly Books - American Empire

The 20th is often referred to as the American Century - The United States burst through its isolationist cocoon and emerged as a late bloomer in the imperialist marathon by provoking the Spanish-American War and acquiring Hawaii. World War I exhausted the Europeans and left the United States in a powerful position as the only industrial country untouched by war. Over the next 70 years, the US pushed backs threats from the right [aka Nazism and World War II] and the left [ aka the Cold War] to emerge in the last decade of the 20th century as the sole superpower. But like the struggles of the successors to Alexander the Great, that Long War [as Philip Bobbitt describes it in Shield of Achilles], the position may be a brief one. In fact, a strong argument can be made that the United States has already reached its apogee and the only question remaining is how steep the decline will be. By most common standards the US slips further behind - whether health care, education, productivity per worker, social welfare, balance of trade, national debt, etc. It only maintains the lead in weapons of mass destruction, especially the nuclear ones, and that leads to scary scenarios. 

Some books that directly discuss the American Empire include

The comparison between British imperialism and America's role in the world has often been made, but the common retort is that America can't be an empire since it has no colonies. Instead, the American empire is one of influence in many countries —sometimes exercised by the threat of force, more often though a mix of economic sanctions and inducements. It does not govern any of these countries and it has little political control over them. Of course, the Soviet collapse increased globalization especially in Asia. Western primacy is nearing the end of ts run. China and India are rising to threaten the development by the US of a traditional empire. So, rather than colonies, we have serial relations with various ruling classes, often at odds with the American proclamation of democracy for all.


    Wealth & Democracy

  • Consumer price index 1790-1960  vividly portrays the cycles of inflation and depression in American history
  • Consumer price index 1790-1990  how little we've been aware of the incredible and unprecedented  inflation of the late 20th century

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