By Charles S. Maier
Modern the US, with its unprecedented armaments and ambition, turns out to many commentators a brand new empire. Others angrily reject the designation. What stakes could being an empire have for our id at domestic and our position overseas? A preeminent American historian addresses those matters in mild of the historical past of empires for the reason that antiquity. This elegantly written e-book examines the constitution and impression of those mega-states and asks even if the us stocks their characteristics and behaviour. Eschewing the traditional specialize in present U.S. overseas coverage and the new spate of professional- and anti-empire polemics, Charles S. Maier makes use of comparative background to check the relevance of an idea usually invoked yet now not continually understood. Marshaling a extraordinary array of evidence--from Roman, Ottoman, Moghul, Spanish, Russian, chinese language, and British experience--Maier outlines the necessities of empire all through heritage. He then explores the workout of U.S. strength within the 19th and 20th centuries, rigorously interpreting its monetary and strategic resources and the nation's courting to predecessors and opponents. To inquire approximately empire is to invite what the us has turn into due to its wealth, inventiveness, and pursuits. it truly is to confront lofty nationwide aspirations with the realities of the violence that frequently attends imperial politics and therefore to query either the prices and the possibilities of the present U.S. international ascendancy. With studying, dispassion, and readability, between Empires deals daring comparisons and an unique account of yankee strength. It confirms that the problem of empire needs to be a priority of each citizen. (20070601)
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Additional info for Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors
More speciﬁcally, the United States has organized a multizonal structure of ascendancy: In the established states of Europe, it has not used direct force to secure policies it desires, but it has rallied supporters through shared security goals, economic support, cultural policies, and sometimes undercover subsidies; in other areas it has been prepared to intervene more directly. The North Atlantic zone was created after World War II in response to a perceived threat of another menacing power, and it rested on shared values and fears, not on compulsion.
Control of at least one imperial language is necessary for elite status. Imperial administrators are sometimes expected to speak the vernacular of the region to which they are posted. The issue of language has been central to empire: modern students stress the resources for rule and hierarchy in linguistic confrontation. Tzvetan Todorov, the French critic, emphasizes how Cortez arrived with an instrumental concept of language to confront Mexicans for whom language served a different purpose of recording the past, foreseeing the future, and serving stylized interactions.
German “mom and pop” stores sold Kolonialwaren. The visitor mounting the steps to the Beaux-Arts façade of New York City’s American Museum of Natural History confronts a bronze equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt being guided by an African Negro and an American Indian. ” All empires exploit grandiose architecture and art to 46 What Is an Empire? convey the conﬁdence of domination: whether the soaring tiled and richly calligraphed mosques of the caliphates and then the Timurid empire, the Baroque volutes and decorated ceilings that accompanied the Jesuits and the Spanish-Portuguese and Austrian Habsburgs from Minas Gerais to Galicia, or the Art Deco museums of the European metropoles.