Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansionism

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Vintage Books, 2009 - History - 387 pages
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Since its founding, the United States' declared principles of liberty and democracy have often clashed with aggressive policies of imperial expansion. In this sweeping narrative history, acclaimed scholar Walter Nugent explores this fundamental American contradiction by recounting the story of American land acquisition since 1782 and shows how this steady addition of territory instilled in the American people a habit of empire-building.

From America's early expansions into Transappalachia and the Louisiana Purchase through later additions of Alaska and island protectorates in the Caribbean and Pacific, Nugent demonstrates that the history of American empire is a tale of shifting motives, as the early desire to annex land for a growing population gave way to securing strategic outposts for America's global economic and military interests.

Thorough, enlightening, and well-sourced, this book explains the deep roots of American imperialism as no other has done.

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HABITS OF EMPIRE: A History of American Expansion

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Detailed, dry account of America's efforts to expand its sphere of influence from the nation's founding through today.Veteran historian Nugent (Into the West: The Story of Its People, 1999, etc ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bruchu - LibraryThing

Frontier Thesis Examined A comprehensive survey of American imperialism since the revolutionary period through to the twentieth century. "Habits of Empire" by Walter Nugent is a rare look into the ... Read full review


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About the author (2009)

Walter Nugent taught history at the University of Notre Dame for sixteen years and at Indiana University for twenty-one years before that. As a visiting professor he has also taught, lectured, and lived in England, Israel, Germany, Poland, and Ireland. He has published eleven previous books and nearly two hundred essays and reviews. He is a past president of the Western History Association and a former member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Highland Park, Illinois, with his wife, the historian Suellen Hoy.

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