The United States of War: A Global History of America's Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State

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Univ of California Press, Oct 13, 2020 - History - 464 pages
The United States has been fighting wars constantly since invading Afghanistan in 2001. This nonstop warfare is far less exceptional than it might seem: the United States has been at war or has invaded other countries almost every year since independence. In The United States of War, David Vine traces this pattern of bloody conflict from Columbus’s 1494 arrival in Guantanamo Bay through the 250-year expansion of a global US empire. Drawing on historical and firsthand anthropological research in fourteen countries and territories, The United States of War demonstrates how US leaders across generations have locked the United States in a self-perpetuating system of permanent war by constructing the world’s largest-ever collection of foreign military bases—a global matrix that has made offensive interventionist wars more likely. Beyond exposing the profit-making desires, political interests, racism, and toxic masculinity underlying the country’s relationship to war and empire, The United States of War shows how the long history of U.S. military expansion shapes our daily lives, from today’s multi-trillion–dollar wars to the pervasiveness of violence and militarism in everyday U.S. life. The book concludes by confronting the catastrophic toll of American wars—which have left millions dead, wounded, and displaced—while offering proposals for how we can end the fighting.
 
 

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Contents

Conquest
21
Occupied
35
Why Are So Many Places Named Fort?
43
Invading Your Neighbors
63
The Permanent Indian Frontier
76
Going Global
99
The Military Opens Doors
125
Reopening the Frontier
138
OutofControl War
272
War Is the Mission
286
Ending Endless Wars
313
Gratitude and Thanks
331
U S Wars Combat and Other
337
Notes
347
Suggested Resources
409
Copyright

Empire of Bases
153

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About the author (2020)

David Vine is Professor of Anthropology at American University. His other books include Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World and Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia.

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