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Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State Paperback – March 27, 2009

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Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State + Policing America's Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (New Perspectives in Se Asian Studies) + Endless Empire: Spain's Retreat, Europe's Eclipse, America's Decline
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Editorial Reviews


“The superb essays in this volume admirably provide a broad approach to understanding the centuries-long growth of American power.”—Walter LaFeber, author of The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860–1898 


Colonial Crucible is precisely the book we need now, in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib and all the other revelations about the ‘mission’ in Iraq. . . . An essential reference book on the consequences of empire for the metropole and its colonies.”—Lloyd Gardner, author of The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the Present

“Brilliantly illustrates the myriad ways in which the costs of empire-building are borne, although neither equally nor obviously, by both colonizers and the colonized.”—Franklin W. Knight, Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University

“This wide-ranging and incisive set of studies makes an invaluable contribution to the debate of the American empire.  Summing Up: Highly recommended.”—K. Kumar, Choice

Colonial Crucible is an impressive compilation of original research. It is essential reading for anyone interested in colonialism, internationalism, and transnationalism involving the ‘United States of the world.’”—Hiroshi Kitamura, Journal of American History

“[Colonial Crucible] defies America’s denial of its imperial past while also questioning the limits of American exceptionalism in American historiography and American studies. . . . an impressive, remarkable and exciting achievement.”—CENTRO

Colonial Crucible should end any discussion as to whether the category ‘empire’ applies to the United States. In this exceptionally coherent set of essays, the editors make good their subtitle, for this is the most exacting account that one could wish about the way in which empire made America and, in particular, the American state. This book, appropriately, is dedicated to William Appleman Williams, whose early challenge to the complacency of American exceptionalist historiography Colonial Crucible honors and extends.”—Marilyn Young, Pacific Historical Review

About the Author

Alfred W. McCoy is the J. R. W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of A Question of Torture and The Politics of Heroin. Francisco A. Scarano is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of Puerto Rico: Cinco siglos de historia.

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