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Watershed of Empire: Essays on New Deal Foreign Policy 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0879260200
ISBN-10: 0879260203
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Ralph Myles Publisher; 1st edition (June 1, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879260203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879260200
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,038,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Fritz R. Ward VINE VOICE on July 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
The presidency of the George W. Bush has seen heightened claims of excutive power and privilege. It has also coincided with a series of extended wars, most notably in Iraq. Although the Iraq war is unpopular, the administration continues to pursue this policy without regard for popular sentiment. It has even had some limited success in redefining the war as various rationales for our continued presence in Iraq collapse. One element of the war that has not received as much attention is the broader use of the war on terror to control domestic policy. Americans have given up a substantial portion of their freedoms in order to fight an apparrently never ending war. The Patriot Act has received some limited criticism, but many other executive orders curtailing American freedom have gone completely overlooked. What many commentators fail to note, however, is that the origins of this administration go back quite a ways in American history. The two key elements of this paradigm, expanding executive privilege and using wars to promote domestic policies, date back to the New Deal. In this thoughtful collection of essays edited by Leonard Liggio and James J. Martin, a pair of revisionist historians from the 1970s, these trends are examined in some detail.

The New Deal was a watershed of American Empire in many ways. It was the period when the United States completely abandoned the neutrality policy, first articulated by President Washington, in favor of world wide intervention. The rationale for this intervention was that as part of a global economy, the United States had interests everywhere and therefore could justify intervening literally anywhere on the globe.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Watershed of Empire. Essays on New Deal foreign policy" provides exactly what the title suggests, a series of essays on New Deal / WW2 foreign policy all from a revisionist point of view. Or should I say revisionist "points" of view..plural. For as the volume illustrates there is not just one revisionist interpretation or approach.

The book is edited by Leonard Liggio and James Martin and provides seven essays from seven distinctive authors. Disappointingly there are no chapters from editor James Martin, who is an excellent and entertaining historical essayist.

This book has been pigeonholed as a compendium of "New Left revisionist history". The label is partly fair as certainly insofar as most of the authors were identified with the New Left at one time or another. However, judging the content I don't think you could fairly characterise the book as particularly leftist or otherwise.

New Left revisionist history of WW2 has also sometimes been misrepresented as 'economic determinist', for example, explaining the war as a drive by US capitalism to create a global "Open Door" for American exports and foreign investment capital. Sometimes adding in a non-historical foray into economic theory or two by positing an underlying contradiction of capitalism or two, and it's usually underconsumption. To an extent the economic determinist label is a reflection of the downplaying of economic drivers in mainstream interpretations which can border on the pneumatic with the flow and resistance to "aggression" being the great explanation. In these essays only really Murray Rothbard and Lloyd Gardiner focus on economics but in neither case could their position be considered 'determinist'.
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