Arc of Empire: America's Wars in Asia from the Philippines to Vietnam [NOOK Book]

Overview

Although conventionally treated as separate, America's four wars in Asia were actually phases in a sustained U.S. bid for regional dominance, according to Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine. This effort unfolded as an imperial project in which military power and the imposition of America's political will were crucial. Devoting equal attention to Asian and American perspectives, the authors follow the long arc of conflict across seventy-five years from the Philippines through Japan and Korea to Vietnam, tracing ...
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Arc of Empire: America's Wars in Asia from the Philippines to Vietnam

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Overview

Although conventionally treated as separate, America's four wars in Asia were actually phases in a sustained U.S. bid for regional dominance, according to Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine. This effort unfolded as an imperial project in which military power and the imposition of America's political will were crucial. Devoting equal attention to Asian and American perspectives, the authors follow the long arc of conflict across seventy-five years from the Philippines through Japan and Korea to Vietnam, tracing along the way American ambition, ascendance, and ultimate defeat. They show how these wars are etched deeply in eastern Asia's politics and culture.
The authors encourage readers to confront the imperial pattern in U.S. history with implications for today's Middle Eastern conflicts. They also offer a deeper understanding of China's rise and Asia's place in today's world.

For instructors: An Online Instructor's Manual is available, with teaching tips for using Arc of Empire in graduate and undergraduate courses on America's wars in Asia. It includes lecture topics, chronologies, and sample discussion questions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Arc of Empire's propositions and conclusions are eloquently stated and for the most part, it seems to me, true. . . . [It] will add to the knowledge of older readers and enlighten younger ones."—The New York Review of Books

"Recommended for readers interested in current events and 20th-century history, especially military history and U.S.-Asia relations."—Library Journal

"Required reading for advanced students of modern US history, and therefore a necessary purchase for all academic libraries. Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above."—Choice

"A crisp, lively narrative sure to interest scholars in the field, their students, and the general public."—Journal of American History

"A powerful analysis of the American wars in eastern Asia that span the twentieth century."—International Affairs

"[This] book should be illuminating and instructive to all who are concerned about U.S. overseas military involvement and its domestic and international ramifications."—H-Empire Reviews

"Whether you are prone to agree or take issue with this book's controversial premise and conclusions, it is well worth reading."—Missoulian

"A highly original and enlightening perspective that integrates a century of U.S. engagement with Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam."—Diplomatic History

"Hunt and Levine never forget to detail the devastating human cost of war, and they do so not just through statistics, but also through references to the lives of ordinary people."—History: Reviews of New Books

"A work of synthesis on a scale seldom attempted before. . . . A bold step away from the prevailing trend toward highly specialized narrow monographs toward a debate on the larger significance of the eight decades of conflict which characterized U.S. relations with Asia in the twentieth century."—Journal of Military History
"Goes beyond a recounting of the historical events of these conflicts to tie them together in one long historical arc."—On Point

"A book every historian of American foreign policy will want to read, recommend, and use."—Pacific Historical Review

"[Hunt and Levine] incorporate important information about "the other side," discuss the devastating impact military actions had on civilians, are not hesitant to reveal atrocious behavior, and examine how imperial rule worked out in practice. Popular culture references enliven the account."—American Historical Review

"A valuable book that merits careful reading. . . . Will encourage readers to take a fresh look at wars usually treated in isolation."—Army History

"Hunt and Levine's book is important . . . to anyone who deals with the history of American foreign policy."—H-War

"A tremendously important book . . . . It is imperative for all scholars of foreign relations, especially of U.S. foreign relations, to read Arc of Empire"—Reviews in American History

Library Journal
This is a history of four connected wars fought by the United States in eastern Asia between 1899 and 1973. From the Philippines to the Pacific theater of World War II to Korea to Vietnam, Hunt (history, emeritus, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Levine (history, Univ. of Montana) show how these wars were connected and the intricate ways that they influenced U.S. foreign policy as well as Asia's culture and politics. The basic premise of the book is that the United States entered these conflicts to spread an imperial doctrine in Asia and hoped to establish a strong foothold in the region politically and militarily. Although Hunt and Levine argue that the United States was ultimately unsuccessful, they explain that much of the effect of those wars can be seen today in China's increasing surge as a dominant world power. The authors highlight that the United States has a long history of such conflicts and that a similar situation may be happening with the current U.S. involvement in the Middle East. VERDICT Recommended for readers interested in current events and 20th-century history, especially military history and U.S.-Asia relations.—Jeremy Spencer, Univ. of California. Law Lib., Davis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807882566
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Michael H. Hunt is Emerson Professor of History Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author or editor of eleven books, including The American Ascendancy: How the United States Gained and Wielded Global Dominance and A Vietnam War Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives.
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Table of Contents

Introduction

Four Wars and the Problem of Empire 1

1 The Philippines, 1899-1902

The imperial Impulse Unleashed 10

2 Japan, 1941-1945

Securing Dominance 64

3 Korea, 1950-1953

Dominance Challenged 120

4 Vietnam, 1965-1953

Dominance Undone 185

Conclusion: Empire and Aftermath

Notes 281

Guide to the Historical Literature 305

Acknowledgments 325

Sources of Illustrations 327

Index 329

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