Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2006 - Political Science - 240 pages
1 Review
In a mere fifty years, the United States transformed itself from a second-tier country crippled by its effort to abolish the appalling institution of human slavery into a great power unlike any the world had ever seen. The question of how it did this should command our attention all by itself, but the question of why it became such a peculiar—and incompetent—empire surely ranks as one of the great questions of modern history. For truly, measured by consequences, few global disasters can match the mismanagement of the international system in the 1920s, which owed almost entirely to bad decisions made in America. All that saves the United States from complete responsibility is the answer to the first question, of how this change happened so fast: America became a great power so swiftly, and became such a peculiar empire, because the rest of the world made it that way. Globalization does not always level the world’s playing field. It produces winners, losers, and, on occasion, global economic disasters. As Eric Rauchway compellingly shows, no nation so clearly reflects the effects of globalization’s uneven influence than the United States. A historian’s answer to the rosier predictions of journalists,Blessed Among Nationsis a sharply narrated reminder that we need merely to review the decades between the end of the Civil War and the aftermath of World War I—the first era of globalization—to realize that one nation’s enrichment need not benefit the whole world. An incisive explanation of why America has inspired more envy than imitation,Blessed Among Nationswarns that if we do not better understand how the United States failed, early on, to master the forces that made it what it is, we stand to make the same mistakes again, in a world with even higher stakes. Eric Rauchwayhas written for theFinancial Timesand theLos Angeles Times. He teaches at the University of California, Davis, and is the author ofMurdering McKinley:The Making ofTheodore Roosevelt's America. He lives in northern California. In a mere fifty years, the United States transformed itself from a second-tier country crippled by its effort to abolish the appalling institution of human slavery into a great power unlike any the world had ever seen. The question of how it did this should command our attention all by itself, but the question of why it became such a peculiar—and incompetent—empire surely ranks as one of the great questions of modern history. For truly, measured by consequences, few global disasters can match the mismanagement of the international system in the 1920s, which owed almost entirely to bad decisions made in America. All that saves the United States from complete responsibility is the answer to the first question, of how this change happened so fast: America became a great power so swiftly, and became such a peculiar empire, because the rest of the world made it that way.   Globalization does not always level the world's playing field. It produces winners, losers, and, on occasion, global economic disasters. As Eric Rauchway compellingly shows, no nation more clearly reflects the effects of globalization's uneven influence than the United States. A historian's answer to the rosier predictions of economists,Blessed Among Nationsis a narrated reminder that we need merely to review the decades between the end of the Civil War and the aftermath of World War I—the first era of globalization—to realize that one nation's enrichment need not benefit the whole world.   An incisive explanation of why America has inspired more envy than imitation,Blessed Among Nationswarns that if we do not better understand how the United Stat
 

What people are saying - Write a review

Blessed among nations: how the world made America

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The furor created in the United States by recent demonstrations on behalf of illegal immigrants makes Rauchway's analysis of America's early experiences with a global community especially timely ... Read full review

Contents

1
2
3
4
5
6
Appendix
A Note on Motive Method and Metaphor
Notes
Notes and Sources for Figures and Tables
Index
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Eric Rauchway is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis. He is the author most recently of Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America and Murdering McKinley: The Making of Theodore Roosevelt's America. He has written for The American Prospect, The Financial Times (a
regular columnist while teaching at Oxford), The New Republic Online, and MSNBC's "Altercation."

Bibliographic information