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The Great American Mission:
Modernization and the Construction of an American World Order
David Ekbladh

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"[A]s a historical narrative it constitutes a very valuable and thorough contribution to understanding how modernization ideas furnished the foundations of American post-war development policy, whilst also supplying a series of interesting portraits of almost-forgotten figures who were intimately associated with this enterprise. . . . [T]he book is a substantial contribution both to the literatures on the Cold War as well as the history of Western development policy, making it a worthwhile book for the specialist and the interested general reader alike."--Willem Oosterveld, Political Science Journal


"An extraordinarily important book. Ekbladh puts concepts of development and modernization at the heart of America's global expansion in the twentieth century and thereby helps us understand the forces that move U.S. foreign policy, both yesterday and today."--O. A. Westad, author of The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times

"A comprehensive history of developmentalism as it became increasingly central to U.S. foreign affairs in the twentieth century. The legacy is still with us, and anyone interested in finding out what may have happened to the 'American century' will find the book an excellent guide and a rich source of information and insights."--Akira Iriye, Harvard University

"Cogent and compelling. The Great American Mission illuminates for the first time how the central characteristics of America's modernization project in the Cold War came together in the prewar period. Carefully tracing ideas, institutions, and individuals from the Depression to the heyday of development, Ekbladh offers new insights into the distinctive components of American modernization efforts abroad."--David C. Engerman, Brandeis University

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File created: 11/22/2015

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