How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States

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How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States

How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States

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It is brilliantly conceived, utterly original, and immensely entertaining - simultaneously vivid, sardonic and deadly serious. If you give University of California college students a quiz on where the US' overseas territories are, most who take it will fail (trust me, I've done it). It even made me actually laugh out loud a few times: Standards—the protocols by which objects and processes are coordinated—are admittedly one of the most stultifying topics known to humankind. A large section on the effects on colonies of post-World War II developments in transportation, communication, and technological standardization seems more relevant to the empires of such colonial powers as Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands, which saw their colonies as being of economic value, than to the United States, which Immerwahr indicates saw its territories as more of a burden than an opportunity, with, perhaps, the exception of the guano islands, which were largely abandoned when guano was no longer needed for American agriculture. It may be under different guises as it’s no longer just physical – the remaining territories and bases across the world are small enclaves of power – but empire now also spreads through currency, power, language, influence and messaging.

The author has performed an excellent service in his accounts of the truth about the Philippines and Woodrow Wilson, as summarized above, that are routinely left out of Texas-approved textbooks that are used in numerous states. The US strategy of establishing foreign military bases (at least eight hundred by 2019) has replaced the necessity and expense of building actual colonies.It begins with the first examples of westward expansion by Daniel Boone past the Appalachian Mountains and the line drawn by the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and ends with how the history of empire affected the US under President Trump. I knew about Puerto Rico being a territory (still) and Puerto Ricans being citizens but I never knew about the Philippines.

Starts with the empire-building in what is now the mainland, moves on to the very relevant history of birdshit and the guano islands, lots about taking over Spanish colonial holdings and the effect especially of WW2, going up to the military bases in Saudi Arabia and how that led in to 9/11. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. Laying waste to this comforting notion, Immerwahr knits together dozens of disparate, often harrowing stories into a larger, eye-popping narrative of American imperialism; his exhaustive account of this hidden history is a revelation.This is a sweeping and scholarly work which sticks to its guns to prove a very poignant fact about the United States: it was created as an empire and continues to operate as such today. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century's most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U. Reviewers admired Wilson’s history, yet they couldn’t help but notice the author’s fondness for the Klu Klux Klan, an organization whose mission, in Wilson’s words, was “to protect the southern country from some of the ugliest hazards of a time of revolution. Immerwahr knows that the material he presents is serious, laden with exploitation and violence, but he also knows how to tell a story, highlighting the often absurd space that opened up between expansionist ambitions and ingenuous self-regard . Although a History professor, Immerwahr’s work is also a valuable read for Geography and Politics students as How to Hide an Empire is an exploration of global dominance, disruption and influence through historical events such as the development of the territories of Hawaii, the Philippines and the Marshall Islands.

Lord Byron, the leading poet of the age, devoted seven stanzas to Boone (the “happiest amongst mortals anywhere”) in his poem Don Juan. The territories merely had to cross a series of population thresholds: five thousand free men, and they could have a legislature; sixty thousand free inhabitants (or sooner, if Congress allowed), and they could be states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world.By taking the reader to the moon (an American conquest) and to the current era of brawl politics (we have consensus, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii), the author puts history in the context of contemporary sociology - there is no better purpose for a history book.

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