Dangerous Nation

Front Cover
Knopf, 2006 - History - 527 pages
16 Reviews
From the author of the immensely influential and best-sellingOf Paradise and Power—a major reevaluation of America’s place in the world from the colonial era to the turn of the twentieth century.

Robert Kagan strips away the myth of America’s isolationist tradition and reveals a more complicated reality: that Americans have been increasing their global power and influence steadily for the past four centuries. Even from the time of the Puritans, he reveals, America was no shining “city up on a hill” but an engine of commercial and territorial expansion that drove Native Americans, as well as French, Spanish, Russian, and ultimately even British power, from the North American continent. Even before the birth of the nation, Americans believed they were destined for global leadership. Underlying their ambitions, Kagan argues, was a set of ideas and ideals about the world and human nature. He focuses on the Declaration of Independence as the document that firmly established the American conviction that the inalienable rights of all mankind transcended territorial borders and blood ties. American nationalism, he shows, was always internationalist at its core. He also makes a startling discovery: that the Civil War and the abolition of slavery—the fulfillment of the ideals of the Declaration—were the decisive turning point in the history of American foreign policy as well. Kagan's brilliant and comprehensive reexamination of early American foreign policy makes clear why America, from its very beginning, has been viewed worldwide not only as a wellspring of political, cultural, and social revolution, but as an ambitious and, at times, dangerous nation.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
9
3 stars
4
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: Dangerous Nation: America's Place in the World from Its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century

User Review  - Frank - Goodreads

A revisionist history of the USA during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: mainly concerned with American self-image and it's impact on foreign policy. RK's thesis is that the US had an ... Read full review

Review: Dangerous Nation: America's Place in the World from Its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century

User Review  - Ronnie - Goodreads

I don't know where I bought this book...about 7 months ago...I picked it off my shelf as one of my books to read. It is mesmerizing book. It brought me back to when I was I in the Army and the ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

\Robert Kagan is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund, and a columnist for The Washington Post. He is also the author of A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977–1990, and editor, with William Kristol, of Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy. Kagan served in the U.S. State Department from 1984 to 1988. He lives in Brussels with his family.

Bibliographic information