The notion of American exceptionalism, dating back to John Winthrop's 1630 sermon aboard the Arabella, still warps Americans' understanding of their nation's role in the world. Most are loathe to admit that the United States has any imperial pretensions. But history tells a different story as filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick reveal in this riveting account of the rise and decline of the American empire.
They trace the American empire through the bloody U.S. suppression of the Filipino struggle for independence; the establishment of U.S. financial hegemony via World War I; the repeated U.S. interventions, covert operations, and wars in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East; the transformation of America into a prying national security state; the accumulation of vast for-tunes by the wealthiest Americans; and troubling assaults on U.S. constitutional liberties.
Aided by the latest archival findings and recently declassified documents and building on the research of the world's best scholars, Stone and Kuznick construct an often shocking but meticulously documented "people's history" of the American empire that offers startling context to the Bush-Cheney policies that put us at war in two Muslim countries and show us why the Obama administration has had such a difficult time cleaving a new path.
Stone and Kuznick will introduce readers to a pantheon of heroes and villains as they show not only how far the United States has drifted from its democratic traditions but the powerful forces that have struggled to get us back on track. The authors reveal that:
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were militarily unnecessary and morally indefensible.
The United States, not the Soviet Union, bore the lion's share of responsibility for perpetuating the Cold War.
The U.S. love affair with right-wing dictators has gone as far as overthrowing elected leaders, arming and training murderous military officers, ...
Oliver Stone has won numerous Academy Awards for his work on such iconic films as Platoon, Wall Street, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, Salvador, and W.
Peter Kuznick is a professor of history and director of the award-winning Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and is currently serving his third term as distinguished lecturer with the Organization of American Historians. He has written extensively about science and politics, nuclear history, and Cold War culture.