What America Owes the World: The Struggle for the Soul of Foreign Policy

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 13, 1998 - History - 335 pages
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For two hundred years, Americans have believed that they have an obligation to improve the lot of humanity, a belief which has consistently shaped U.S. foreign policy. Yet within this consensus, there are two competing schools of thought: the "exemplarist" school (Brands' term) which holds that what America chiefly owes the world is the benign example of a well-functioning democracy, and the "vindicationist" school which argues that force must sometimes supplement a good example. In this book, H.W. Brands traces the evolution of these two schools as they emerged in the thinking and writing of the most important public thinkers of the last two centuries.

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About the author (1998)

H.W. Brands was born Henry William Brands in Oregon. He graduated from Stanford University in 1975 with a B.A. in history, and from Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. He went on to earn his graduate degree in mathematics and history in Oregon and Texas. He taught at Vanderbilt University and Texas A&M University before he joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. He acquired the title of Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History at the U of Texas. He specializes in American History and politics, with books including Traitor to His Class, Andrew Jackson, The Age of Gold, the First American, and TR. Several of his books have been best sellers, including one recently published, The General vs. the President. Two of them - Traitor to His Class and The First American were finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lectures often on historical and current events and he can be seen and heard on national television and radio programs.

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