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The New Imperialism (Clarendon Lectures in Geography and Environmental Studies) Geral Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199278084
ISBN-10: 0199278083
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Product Details

  • Series: Clarendon Lectures in Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Geral edition (February 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199278083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199278084
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Newton Ooi on July 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the last thirty years or so, there has been a growing body of thought and literature in the world that America is the next Empire, maybe not in the Roman mold, but surely as powerful as the old English empire. Contributions to this train of thought have come from numerous corners; peace activists protesting the Vietnam War, anti-globalization groups protesting US corporations, French farmers protesting McDonalds, Muslim scholars and clerics throughout the world, and isolationists within American politics. These groups and their arguments have tended to emphasize the how of empire; how America came to empire, how it is an Empire, and of course, how we will fall like other Empires. This book tries to give a why, and does so from the oldest of corners opposing the American Way: socialism, and the writings of Marx and his followers. As such, it does an impressive job within a very short number of pages.

To be brief, this book proposes several points. First, America has gradually turned into an empire over the last fifty years. As evidence, the author points to the dozens of military bases the US has around the world. American now has more military installations in more places than any other nation that has ever existed. Many of these bases are located in countries that are not democratic; i.e. the citizens of these countries did not vote to invite America's military in. The only possible conclusions are that the local government stays in power through America's support (financial or otherwise), or are outright puppet governments.
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Format: Paperback
Picking up on a few key theoretical points not included in other reviews. Harvey is pressing an academic point within the broad Marxian tradition-- a point which also has broad practical consequences for confronting imperialism's latest incarnation. A central contention is that the capitalist world has been experiencing a crisis of overaccumulation since about 1973, as evidenced by a lack of opportunities for profitable investment (for which, by the way, he offers no statistical data, but which is not at issue here). Growth prior to the 1973 watershed, he argues, was driven by expanded reproduction with the US exercising hegemonic authority as a result of its WWII reorganization of old European colonialism. However, for various reasons (chiefly Vietnam era inflation) this regime broke down. At that point, he argues, the much-marginalized neo-liberal thinking of von Mises and von Hayek began to get a sympathetic hearing and commenced its long march through the institutions of the capitalist world. This new strategy utilizes neo-liberal measures, such as trade and finance liberalization (IMF, World Bank, GATT, et al.) to force open hitherto closed or regulated foreign markets, thereby helping to employ surplus capital. A related tool is to force devaluation upon a target economy, enabling foreign investors to buy cheaply and improve opportunity for increased profit margins. Thus, in broad outline, a new form of imperialism has arisen, one that remains similar to its classic colonial predecessor in that it still seeks to relieve accumulation problems at home by shifting profitability problems abroad, sometimes forcibly so.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent book...

D. Harvey places in context the recent developments in US foreign policy. He wrote this book before April 2003 yet, he could still easily see through the smoke screen arguments of WMD, democracy!

Concerning Iraq, Harvey argued that the main goal of USA was regime change and to establish a client state there to control the oil reserves & routes of Middle East. He reminds the US had plans set up for a conflict with Iraq much before the first Gulf War.

Harvey notes the existence of a US empire was long recognized by leftists long ago. It was only after 9/11 when the conservatives started also to recognize this empire and in fact argued for the benefits of one. During Clinton years, this American empire was more like the old Ottoman Empire, a tolerant one with light footprints. Now, it is more like the hard-pressing Roman Empire, trying to change cultures wholesale, not satisfied with only the consent of governments. Most Americans don't understand this, but the pressure by USA in less developed countries in fact causes only resentment and anger there.

He also speculates the war may be a method to distract Americans from rebelling against the government because of deteriorating conditions in economy.

Overall, it is an easy short read containing substantial arguments.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This 2004 study of American imperialism, although obviously inspired by the events of the Iraq War, is still completely relevant today. Here, Harvey uses his knowledge of economic geography, radical political economy, and international relations to develop a sturdy theoretical model for studying the American empire. The subject matter shares some significant overlap with his 2007 study of the global economy A Brief History of Neoliberalism. As with "neo-Liberalism," Harvey's intent here is to demonstrate that the reigning global order is primarily driven by class interests, and that the trajectory of the modern world has been defined by the never-ending search for profitable avenues for the investment of surplus capital. Since I initially could tell that this book would overlap with "neo-Liberalism," I was a little worried going into it, and that much of the book would be redundant after reading "neo-Liberalism" first. Fortunately, Harvey, in one of his many impressive displays of scholarly prowess, picked a very specific goal in "The New Imperialism" with a tight scope.

Harvey begins "The New Imperialism" by posing the question of how to properly define an "empire." What is an empire? Why is the U.S. an empire? What drives the financial, political, and military elite of the U.S. to carry out their imperial ambitions? What changed about the imperialism that drove colonialism to the imperialism that drives neo-colonialism?

Harvey, as usual in his books, covers lots of ground in a relatively short amount of space.
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