America, Empire of Liberty: A New History of the United States

Front Cover
Basic Books, Oct 13, 2009 - History - 563 pages
It was Thomas Jefferson who envisioned the United States as a great “empire of liberty.” This paradoxical phrase may be the key to the American saga: How could the anti-empire of 1776 became the world’s greatest superpower? And how did the country that offered unmatched liberty nevertheless found its prosperity on slavery and the dispossession of Native Americans?

In this new single-volume history spanning the entire course of US history—from 1776 through the election of Barack Obama—prize-winning historian David Reynolds explains how tensions between empire and liberty have often been resolved by faith—both the evangelical Protestantism that has energized American politics for centuries and the larger faith in American righteousness that has driven the country’s expansion.

Written with verve and insight, Empire of Liberty brilliantly depicts America in all of its many contradictions.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drmaf - LibraryThing

Excellent piece of writing. I wouldn't have thought you could effectively cover the scope of American history from the Pilgrims to Obama in a single volume, but Reynolds does it with skill, style and ... Read full review

AMERICA, EMPIRE OF LIBERTY: A New History of the United States

User Review  - Kirkus

A concise and still-inclusive history of America—from Cahokia to the 2008 presidential election—by accomplished British historian Reynolds (International History/Cambridge Univ.; Summits: Six ... Read full review

Contents

LIBERTY AND SLAVERY
1
Natives and Europeans
3
Empire and Liberties
21
Independence and Republicanism
45
Liberty and Security
73
East and West
95
Slave or Free?
123
POWER AND PROGRESS
147
War and Peace
245
From Boom to Bomb
273
Red or Dead?
307
Rights and Riots
335
The Impotence of Omnipotence
361
Dťtente and Discontent
389
Revolution and Democracy
417
Pride and Prejudice
441

North and South
149
The Civil War 18611865
150
White and Black
177
Capital and Labor
197
Reform and Expansion
221
Conclusion
469
Further Reading
479
Notes
493
Acknowledgments
547
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

David Reynolds is a professor of international history at Cambridge University. He has held visiting positions at Harvard and at Nihon University in Tokyo and is the author of eight books, including In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War (2004), which was awarded the Wolfson Prize, Britain’s highest honor for the writing of history, and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

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