The American Century: Consensus and Coercion in the Projection of American Power

Overview

This book brings together studies of Americanization and American imperialism to assess how far the twentieth century can be seen as the 'American Century'. The collection comprises new contributions exploring the 'geographic dialogues' that arise as the result of the projection of American power and culture in the world. The book provides a critical evaluation of the extent of the diffusion and adoption of the 'American way of life' and the very concept of 'America' itself.

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Overview

This book brings together studies of Americanization and American imperialism to assess how far the twentieth century can be seen as the 'American Century'. The collection comprises new contributions exploring the 'geographic dialogues' that arise as the result of the projection of American power and culture in the world. The book provides a critical evaluation of the extent of the diffusion and adoption of the 'American way of life' and the very concept of 'America' itself.

The contributors focus on the effects of the projection of American society from the perspective of the 'receivers', both as beneficiaries and as victims. The sections examine three main forms of American power: economic, political and cultural. Topics covered include the role of US corporations; financial power; overseas service investments; American promotion of democracy; the Cold War and the Third World; Hollywood and the American dream; global Disney; the Americanization of world sport; the globalization of media; and the influence of American music. The book concludes by looking forward to ask if we are entering a second American century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] lively and insightful collection of essays ... by and large readable and succinct, suggesting a strong editorial hand. They are accessible to non-specialists and will prove useful in the classroom." Progress in Human Geography
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631212218
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/15/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

David Slater is Professor of Social and Political Geography at Loughborough University, and Joint Editor of Political Geography. He is author of Territory and State Power in Latin America (1989) and editor of Social Movements and Political Change in Latin America (1994).

Peter Taylor is Professor of Geography and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Loughborough University. He was the editor of Political Geography (1982-1998) and an editor of Review of International Political Economy (1992-1997). His previous books include The Way the Modern World Works: World Hegemony to World Impasse (1996) and Modernities: A Geohistorical Perspective (Polity, 1999).

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors ix
Preface xi
Part I Introductions: American Destiny?
1 Locating the American Century: A World-systems Analysis 1
2 Locating the American Century: Themes for a Post-colonial Perspective 17
Part II Economic Capacities: American Know-how?
3 Global Shift -- the Role of United States Transnational Corporations 35
4 The Dynamics of US Managerialism and American Corporations 51
5 Overseas Investment by US Service Enterprises 67
6 The Rise and Decline of US International Monetary Hegemony 84
7 The 'New' Developmentalism: Political Liberalism and the Washington Consensus 98
Part III Political Capacities: The Arsenal of Democracy?
8 Inaugurating the American Century: 'New World' Perspectives on the 'Old' in the Early Twentieth Century 117
9 European Integration and American Power: Reflex, Resistance and Reconfiguration 136
10 The United States, the 'Triumph of Democracy' and the 'End of History' 149
11 Taking the Cold War to the Third World 166
12 US Influence in the Making of the Contemporary Amazon Heartland 181
13 American Power and the Portuguese Empire 195
14 The Reality of American Idealism 210
15 Contradictions of a Lone Superpower 222
Part IV Cultural Capacities: The American Dream?
16 Occult Hollywood: Unfolding the Americanization of World Cinema 243
17 Global Disney 261
18 'The Kind of Beat Which is Currently Popular': American Popular Music in Britain 273
19 American Philanthropy as Cultural Power 284
20 Between North and South: Travelling Feminisms and Homeless Women 298
21 Americanization of the World 317
Part V Conclusion: American Centuries?
22 Multiple Themes, One America; One Theme, Multiple Americas 341
Index 349
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