Ark of the Liberties: America and the World

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Macmillan, Jun 24, 2008 - History - 355 pages
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The United States stands at a historic crossroads; essential to the world yet unappreciated.  America’s decline in popularity over the last eight years has been nothing short of astonishing.  With wit, brilliance, and deep affection, Ted Widmer, a scholar and a former presidential speechwriter, reminds everyone why this great nation had so far to fall. In a sweeping history of centuries, Ark of the Liberties recounts America’s ambition to be the world’s guarantor of liberty. It is a success story that America, and the world, forgets at its peril.
From the Declaration of Independence to the Gettysburg Address to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United States, for all its shortfalls, has been by far the world’s greatest advocate for freedom. Generations of founders imbued America with a surprisingly global ambition that a series of remarkable presidents, often Democratic, advanced through the confident wielding of military and economic power. Ark of the Liberties brims with new insights: America’s centuries-long favorable relationship with the Middle East; why Wilson’s presidency deserves reappraisal; Bill Clinton’s underappreciated achievements; how America’s long history of foreign policy immediately touches on the choices we face in 2008. Fully addressing America’s disastrous occupation of Iraq, Ark of the Liberties colorfully narrates America’s long and laudatory history of expanding world liberty.
 

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Ark of the liberties: America and the world

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In this historical overview of U.S. foreign policy, Widmer (director, John Carter Brown Lib., Brown Univ.; Martin Van Buren) argues that the United States has more often been internationalist than ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER ONE FANTASY ISLAND
3
CHAPTER TWO THE AMERICAN MILLENNIUM
17
CHAPTER THREE A NEW ORDER OF THE AGES
40
CHAPTER FOUR EMPIRE OF LIBERTY
63
CHAPTER FIVE LIBERTY ENSLAVED
97
CHAPTER SIX THE NEW COLOSSUS
132
CHAPTER SEVEN LIBERTY CABBAGE
158
CHAPTER EIGHT THE NEW WORLD IN ALL TONGUES
190
DAWN
223
TWILIGHT
253
CHAPTER ELEVEN MORNING IN AMERICA
285
EPILOGUE
313
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
330
INDEX
335
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS
356
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About the author (2008)

Ted Widmer directs the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. He was a foreign policy speechwriter and senior adviser to President Clinton, and is Senior Research Fellow of the New America Foundation.  He is a frequent contributor to  The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New York Observer.

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