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America in the World:
A History in Documents from the War with Spain to the War on Terror
Edited by Jeffrey A. Engel, Mark Atwood Lawrence & Andrew Preston

Paperback | 2014 | $31.95 | £26.95 | ISBN: 9780691161754
Hardcover | 2014 | $82.50 | £69.95 | ISBN: 9780691133355
416 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 23 halftones.
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How should America wield its enormous power beyond its borders? Should it adhere to grand principles or act on narrow self-interest? Should it partner with other nations or avoid entangling alliances? Americans have been grappling with questions like these throughout the nation's history, and especially since the emergence of the United States as a major world power in the late nineteenth century. America in the World illuminates this history by capturing the diverse voices and viewpoints of some of the most colorful and eloquent people who participated in these momentous debates.

Spanning the era from the Gilded Age to the Obama years, this unique reader collects more than two hundred documents--everything from presidential addresses and diplomatic cables to political cartoons and song lyrics. It encompasses various phases of American diplomatic history that are typically treated separately, such as the First World War, the Cold War, and 9/11. The book presents the perspectives of elite policymakers--presidents, secretaries of state, generals, and diplomats--alongside those of other kinds of Americans, such as newspaper columnists, clergymen, songwriters, poets, and novelists. It also features numerous documents from other countries, illustrating how foreigners viewed America’s role in the world.

Ideal for classroom use, America in the World sheds light on the complex interplay of political, economic, ideological, and cultural factors underlying the exercise of American power on the global stage.

  • Includes more than two hundred documents from the late nineteenth century to today
  • Looks at everything from presidential addresses to political cartoons and song lyrics
  • Presents diverse perspectives, from elite policymakers to clergymen and novelists
  • Features documents from outside the United States, illustrating how people in other countries viewed America’s role in the world


"America in the World would be an excellent addition to a modern American history curriculum, since it requires readers to encounter history from the history makers' perspectives."--Choice

"This is a very good book, it is an extremely brave attempt at an almost impossible subject given the time scale. It will be extremely useful to those starting out on their quest for knowledge of a super power's, United States of America, foreign policy. If it doesn't list every turn in the road, along the way, it most certainly points one in the right direction."--Don Vincent, Open History


"This outstanding documentary collection is an ideal text for any course on American foreign relations. The inclusion of numerous voices from outside the United States and from nonstate actors within the United States proves an especially noteworthy, and distinctive, feature."--Robert J. McMahon, Ohio State University

"Three historians known for the rigor and originality of their scholarship have combined to produce a most welcome teaching tool. Tracing the emergence of the United States as a global power, Engel, Lawrence, and Preston have deftly selected documents that capture non-American as well as American voices and reveal the complexity of the U.S. role in the world by highlighting themes that compete with as often as they complement each other. This collection raises questions resistant to easy answers. That's the mark of a valuable reader."--Richard H. Immerman, author of Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz

More Endorsements

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: The Long American Century 1
1Motives of Expansion 7
2Imperial America: War with Spain and the Philippines 32
3Varieties of Empire 56
4The Rise and Fall of Wilsonianism 79
5Isolation and Intervention 107
6World War II 131
7The Beginning of the Cold War 157
8The Korean War and the Cold War of the 1950s 182
9The Nationalist Challenge 206
10Years of Crisis 231
11The Vietnam War 255
12The Era of Détente 281
13Escalating and Ending the Cold War 305
14Globalization after the Cold War 331
15The Age of Terror 354
Sources 379
Index 395

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