Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline

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John Wiley & Sons, Sep 13, 2011 - History - 288 pages
Why America Failed shows how, from its birth as a nation of "hustlers" to its collapse as an empire, the tools of the country's expansion proved to be the instruments of its demise

Why America Failed is the third and most engaging volume of Morris Berman's trilogy on the decline of the American empire. In The Twilight of American Culture, Berman examined the internal factors of that decline, showing that they were identical to those of Rome in its late-empire phase. In Dark Ages America, he explored the external factors—e.g., the fact that both empires were ultimately attacked from the outside—and the relationship between the events of 9/11 and the history of U.S. foreign policy.

  • In his most ambitious work to date, Berman looks at the "why" of it all
  • Probes America's commitment to economic liberalism and free enterprise stretching back to the late sixteenth century, and shows how this ideology, along with that of technological progress, rendered any alternative marginal to American history
  • Maintains, more than anything else, that this one-sided vision of the country's purpose finally did our nation in

Why America Failed is a controversial work, one that will shock, anger, and transform its readers. The book is a stimulating and provocative explanation of how we managed to wind up in our current situation: economically weak, politically passe, socially divided, and culturally adrift. It is a tour de force, a powerful conclusion to Berman's study of American imperial decline.


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User Review  - Ellesee - LibraryThing

A continuation of his critique of our "hustle" society, Berman focuses on the historical development of the United States away from a republican (community) society toward one of hustlers and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BobNolin - LibraryThing

Berman's view, in a nutshell, is that If only we'd remained a society like the Puritans, who he seems to idealize as a community for their values and lack of greed, America would not have failed. He ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Distinguished cultural historian and social critic Morris Berman has spent many years exploring the corrosion of American society and the decline of the American empire. He is the author of the critically acclaimed works The Twilight of American Culture, a New York Times Book Revie w "Notable Book," and Dark Ages America.

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