Zimmermann has written six separate but related books and then combined them in a single volume. The first five comprise Part One and are brief but exceptionally informative biographies of John Hay, Alfred T. Mahan, Elihu Root. Henry Cabot Lodge, and Theodore Roosevelt; the sixth is a brilliant analysis of how these five men, together, achieved achieved for the United States "the first great triumph" of its global expansion or as Zimmermann describes it, "the birth of American imperialism." As he explains in the Introduction, "These five men were remarkable by any measure. Two of them, Roosevelt and Root, won the Nobel Peace Prize. All were intellectuals and thought of themselves as such. All except Root were notable authors. Roosevelt wrote thirty-eight books, and Lodge twenty-seven, mostly on themes of American history....Mahan produced an analysis of the influence of seas power that profoundly affected American policy and became required reading in the British, German, and Japanese navies. Root, who had been one of the most talented corporate lawyers of his time, became after his government service a forceful advocate of the rule of law in international relations." Remarkable indeed by any measure. In Part Two, Zimmermann shifts his reader's attention to a period extending from 1898 until 1909 when, through the collective and coordinated efforts of the five men and their associates, the United States acquired Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, and Panama. When explaining the legacies of this brief but productive period, Zimmermann observes; "First, they created an authentic American imperialism that was confident in its objectives but modest in its application....The second legacy of the founders of American imperialism was their preparation of the United States to be a great power. Pragmatic as they were, Roosevelt and his friends understood that they were embarked on a grand adventure. The `first great triumph' that Roosevelt fore-saw on the troopship to Cuba did indeed become a `world movement.'...Third, these five imperialists produced the first comprehensive assertion of U.S. security interests abroad....The fourth legacy of the founders was the creation of two foreign policy priorities, human rights and stability, that have remained in tension with each other ever since....The fifth consequence of the work done by the men who launched America as a great power was to strengthen the American presidency. All five were followers of Alexander Hamilton and believers in activist government." I was fascinated to learn how all this was accomplished, especially during such a brief period of time. Of course, as Zimmermann explains, "the five imperialists" encountered staunch and formidable opposition. However, they wholly agreed with an opinion expressed by journalist John O'Sullivan that during the "era of American greatness" their nation was "destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles." (1839) Hence the origin of what has since been known as the concept of Manifest Destiny. Those seeking to understand the current state of our nation's relations with other countries throughout the world will find Zimmermann's book especially informative.