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Race over Empire: Racism and U.S. Imperialism, 1865-1900 1st Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807829004
ISBN-10: 0807829005
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Editorial Reviews


"Love has forcefully captured the rough and tumble world of Washington politics. . . . Convincingly demonstrates that imperialists consciously remained silent on race when pitching annexation." -- "Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era"


A brief, clearly argued, thesis-driven study. . . . [A] competent work.--American Historical Review

|Both interesting and well documented. . . . Presents alternative ways of looking at racism and imperialism. When one thinks of imperialism, one tends to believe that racism actually abetted it. Love takes the contrary view, but at the same time, he emphasizes that many imperialists were racists and does an excellent job of proving it.--The Historian

|Well-written and accessible. . . . Written in an engaging, fluid prose, and punctured by useful, often lucid insights, [Love's account] is certainly a worthwhile read.--Itinerario

|This is a provocative, well-written, and solidly researched reassessment of the role of race and racism in the development of late nineteenth-century U.S. imperialism. Love's nuanced treatment of why, how, and with what consequences various white racial ideologies impeded and constrained the imperial urge is the most fully realized and most cogent treatment of this argument that I have read.--Waldo E. Martin Jr., University of California, Berkeley

|With originality, imagination, and superb research, Eric Love gives us one of the most important contributions in years to our understanding of American expansion into the Caribbean, Hawaii, and the Philippines. He rightly radically corrects the central role played by race, and finally puts Darwinism in its proper place, in a narrative that allows us to understand more clearly and accurately the crucial origins of modern U.S. foreign policy.--Walter LaFeber, Andrew and James Tisch University Professor, Cornell University

|Love has forcefully captured the rough and tumble world of Washington politics. . . . Convincingly demonstrates that imperialists consciously remained silent on race when pitching annexation.--Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (November 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807829005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807829004
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,059,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William Doonan on September 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I first read a review of this book in the Journal of Southern History, which reported that Race Over Empire is "that rare book that will fundamentally change how U.S. historians approach an important topic - in this case, American imperialism in the late 19th century." I couldn't agree more. This book doesn't take the easy way out - suggesting that racism facilitated U.S. imperialism. Instead, it takes a brave and original approach, discussing racist patterns and institutions within the United States, and how they acted as OBSTACLES to imperial expansion. This is something new and important. After this, no writer can credibly follow that old interpretation - that racism facilitated empire. A must read for any serious scholar of history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lionel S. Taylor on February 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Race Over Empire challenges the idea that ideas of the "white mans burden" and other racist assumptions served to promote U.S. Imperialism in the late 19th century. Rather the author argues that these racist beliefs actually impeded the goals of imperialists and that they had to constantly contend with them to justify imperial expansion. The author looks at three separate cases starting with the Dominican Republic and president Grants goal of annexing it and then goes on to look at the more familiar cases of Hawaii and the Philippines. In each of these cases it is argued that racist assumptions about the people that already lived in these countries and the climates suitability for white settlement served to work against the arguments of the imperialist. The case of Hawaii is especially interesting in that it challenges the often told story of how the fruit and sugar barons on the island manipulated the mainland government into annexing the island The biggest objection and the one that almost killed the deal altogether was that one day Hawaii would be eligible for statehood and that would make thousands of nonwhite people eligible to vote and influence American politics. This objection would be raised again and again in connection with other areas the U.S. considered making territories.
I found this book very interesting for several reasons one was that while I was aware of the racial assumptions that permeated American politics during this time, I was not aware of just how deep these assumptions went. The fact is many racial beliefs that we consider abhorrent today were considered common wisdom at the time and were regularly brought up in political discussion.
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