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American Ascendancy Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0807859636 ISBN-10: 080785963X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (December 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080785963X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807859636
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Compact but still reasonably detailed as well as illuminating. . . . Traces the broad lines of the national experience placing them with knowledge and balance within the context of global transformations."
Richerche Distoria Politica

"Displays an impressive command of the historical literature, an ability to tackle important contemporary questions, and a capacity to make connections about disparate problems in American history. . . . Hunt's informed review of how the U.S. reached its present dilemma will provide a much-needed historical perspective. Policy makers would do well to ponder this sobering record of how a national search for ascendancy can produce as many intractable problems as it solves."
Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"A provocative book. . . . An impressively argued interpretation."
The International History Review

"A masterly overview of America's rise to its current status. . . . Given this outstanding book's breadth--both its temporal scope and the issues covered--a brief review cannot do it justice."
The Journal of American History

"Hunt is a serious scholar, and there is much to learn from and about his explanation of America's ascendancy. . . . [A] sound study."

"Provides crucial insights into the nation's controversial role in the world today and prospects for the durability of U.S. power."
Carolina Arts & Sciences

"[An] engaging history of the United States' rise to global dominance."
Foreign Affairs

"With a fascinating subject and a lively writing style, he offers an important contribution to the current debate about the United States' position in the world."
—Piero Gleijeses, Johns Hopkins University

"Michael Hunt does not disappoint."
—Marilyn Young, New York University

"Broadly conceived, beautifully organized, lucidly written, and richly documented. . . . Essential."

From the Inside Flap

Contents Introduction: Framing the Question
1. Nineteenth-Century Foundations
2. Grand Projects, 1898-1920
3. The American Way in a Fragmenting World, 1921-1940
4. Reaching for Geopolitical Dominance, 1941-1968
5. In the American Image, 1941-1968
6. The Third-World Challenge, 1941-1968
7. Disoriented Giant, 1968-1991
8. The Neoliberal Triumph, 1991-
Conclusion: Hegemony in Question

A Guide to the Literature
Index --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book that goes into detail when it comes to explaining how we got to this point and I recommend that everyone should read at least once.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ajit Balakrishnan on August 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Neoliberalism, the belief that it is safer to repose faith in markets than on a State is the operating philosophy in many countries today. What led to this triumph? Michael Hunt's book provides many of the answers.
He points first to the influence of ideas. Hayek's, "The Road to Serfdom" for instance which presented the State as a stop on the road to totalitarianism, Milton Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom", which presents markets as not only efficient but also the only guarantor of freedom, to name just two.
He also points to the untiring proselytism of think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation and the failure of Keynsian, state-led initiatives to solve the stagflation of the '70's and most of all the collapse of the Soviet System in the late '90's which demolished faith in the centralized planned economy model.
The Western liberal democratic model has appeared to have triumphed to the point that Francis Fukuyama called it " the end of history", the final form of human government.
The American elite, Hunt says, now have substituted "globalization" as their over-riding mantra, leaving behind the Cold War mantra.
The power of Hunt's analysis is that he views all these movements as a continuation of of an efforts by the a small group of American thinkers and statesman to seek and achieve global dominance.
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