No Higher Law: American Foreign Policy and the Western Hemisphere since 1776 / Edition 1

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Dismantling the myths of United States isolationism and exceptionalism, No Higher Law is a sweeping history and analysis of American policy toward the Western Hemisphere and Latin America from independence to the present. From the nation's earliest days, argues Brian Loveman, U.S. leaders viewed and treated Latin America as a crucible in which to test foreign policy and from which to expand American global influence. Loveman demonstrates how the main doctrines and policies adopted for the Western Hemisphere were exported, with modifications, to other world regions as the United States pursued its self-defined global mission.

No Higher Law reveals the interplay of domestic politics and international circumstances that shaped key American foreign policies from U.S. independence to the first decade of the twenty-first century. This revisionist view considers the impact of slavery, racism, ethnic cleansing against Native Americans, debates on immigration, trade and tariffs, the historical growth of the military-industrial complex, and political corruption as critical dimensions of American politics and foreign policy.

Concluding with an epilogue on the Obama administration, Loveman weaves together the complex history of U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy to achieve a broader historical understanding of American expansionism, militarism, imperialism, and global ambitions as well as novel insights into the challenges facing American policymakers at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Rightly calls attention to the international perspective of US diplomacy, and decries the stale arguments that the US was an isolationist power throughout a good portion of its history. . . . For readers interested in a more ideological interpretation. Recommended.--Choice

This provocative book examining the impact of U.S.-Latin American relations on the evolution of American foreign policy has the air of a lifetime achievement, born from decades of extensive reading, writing, and squirreling away data for future use. Although many single-volume histories of hemispheric relations exist, this one possesses a richness of detail that cannot fail to impress and enlighten even the most seasoned specialist.--Pacific Historical Review

A thorough examination of US foreign policy in the Americas from the founding of the United States to the present.--Hispanic American Historical Review

No Higher Law could be used as a textbook in an upper-division course, with its evocative illustrations, useful maps, and informative tables and graphs.--The Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807872659
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Loveman is professor emeritus of political science at San Diego State University and author or editor of more than twenty books on Latin American history and politics, inter-American relations, and U.S. foreign policy. In 2009 he received Chile's highest award given to noncitizens, the Condecoracion de la Orden al Merito de Chile, en el Grado de Gran Oficial.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Isolationist Myth 9

2 The Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny 39

3 Providential Nursery? 65

4 The Good Neighbor 91

5 Trie New Manifest Destiny 121

6 The New Navy 151

7 Protective Imperialism 181

8 Return to Normalcy 207

9 Independent Internationalism 227

10 Not-So-Cold War, I 253

11 Not-So-Cold War, II 285

12 American Crusade 315

13 Not the End of History 345

14 The New Normalcy? 369

Epilogue 387

Notes 405

Bibliography 469

Acknowledgments 511

Index 513

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