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Rise to Globalism Paperback – September 1, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
The latest edition of this book (up through Clinton's first term as president) covers roughly 58 years of American foreign poicy in 428 pages; since an entire set of books could easily be written about this period there is going to be a good deal that Ambrose glosses over and skips. If you are looking for detail about any one period in American history, look elsewhere. But if you simply want a map of what has been going on in foreign policy then you will be hard pressed to do better than this book.
"Rise to Globalism" is definitely written from an historical perspective; it reads like a narrative and as such has only the smallest bit of analysis. While this book rates very highly in providing a sense of what has been happening, there is not much to inform you about the political theory, ideology, or trends that underlied decisions that American leaders made in foreign policy. This is not so much a criticism of "Rise to Globalism" (as there is only so much that can be fit into one book); instead take it as a way to differentiate this book from other worthy foreign policy titles that you may be choosing from.
Ambrose's prose is excellent and engaging; often I would read large chunks of this book in one sitting. Admittedly a lot has been going on in world politics and to his credit Ambrose knows what is substantial enough to include, and what details to leave to the reader to seek for herself. This helps the book immeasurably, as it rarely gets bogged down in unnecessary detail.Read more ›
The book is filled with useful information laid out in a clear and understandable way. I've seen many an interview with Ambrose, and I could almost hear his voice reading it to me.
However, there are obvious biases toward an agenda (which I am still not sure what the agenda is.) Ambrose rips apart basically every President since World War II. He basically holds them responsible for not having 20/20 hindsight. In other areas, he criticizes them for over-reaction...and then will criticize them for not doing enough. You can't have it all ways. He also tends to rely on looking at short-term outcomes instead of long-term. He spends most of the book criticizing containment...but ends the book by saying that the Truman Doctrine was correct.
Ambrose seems to have a serious distaste for Reagan and Johnson. He seems to believe Carter was an ideological idiotic President that ended up doing the exact opposite of everything he stood for. Believes Kennedy was naive and being led/misled by the people around him. (He attributes similar things to Reagan.) He seems to have the most admiration for Nixon. I don't get the feeling he liked Nixon as a person, but as a President, his administration was probably most up to the task of running a super-power.
I also found the Reagan chapter interesting. He bashes Reagan for spending on defense (weapon spending) at the expense of the deficit. BUT...in the next chapter he claims that Bush didn't spend enough on defense and that defense spending has been falling too much.Read more ›
The current edition of the book covers the period from 1938 to the first Clinton administration. The authors provide a good explanation of all major military conflicts and foreign policy decisions the U.S. made during those years. Note, however, that this book only covers U.S. foreign policy and deals very little with domestic policy and events. Ambrose and Brinkley do an excellent job connecting major themes in American foreign policy, such as containment and the Truman Doctrine, to the actions Presidents and Secretaries of State and Defense made.
The book is an excellent overview for casual readers and historians looking to understand American foreign policy over the last sixty years. Sentences are kept brief and to the point. The chapters flow with a good narration of events and in a chronological order. Ambrose and Brinkley, while not providing a bibliography, do provide some good suggestions for further reading. Overall, this is an excellent starting point for casual historians and students of modern U.S. history concerned with foreign policy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read earlier editions over the years, often wondering how recent history would be seen and analyzed. Read morePublished 26 days ago by are you hep to the jive?
This is a great overview of US Foreign Policy with good insight given into the key players and the relationships between them.Published 2 months ago by C. Crabtree
I found the latest edition (1993) fascinating in that it covers the American history I have lived. I liked the noting of dates of important events and concise statements of new... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Neil Karl
Good book overall. I had to read this for a history class and I have to say it was a lot but it helped open my eyes to things I did not know before.Published 3 months ago by Connor A. Rutherford
Loud authors of my parents gen, cheerleading the Empire, ignoring its sorry history at many crucial points, but has some basics to offer.Published 8 months ago by robert dresdner