The Tragedy of American Diplomacy

Overview

“A brilliant book on foreign affairs.”—Adolf A. Berle Jr., New York Times Book Review
This incisive interpretation of American foreign policy ranks as a classic in American thought. First published in 1959, the book offered an analysis of the wellsprings of American foreign policy that shed light on the tensions of the Cold War and the deeper impulses leading to the American intervention in Vietnam. William Appleman Williams brilliantly explores the ways in which ideology and political economy intertwined over ...

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Overview

“A brilliant book on foreign affairs.”—Adolf A. Berle Jr., New York Times Book Review
This incisive interpretation of American foreign policy ranks as a classic in American thought. First published in 1959, the book offered an analysis of the wellsprings of American foreign policy that shed light on the tensions of the Cold War and the deeper impulses leading to the American intervention in Vietnam. William Appleman Williams brilliantly explores the ways in which ideology and political economy intertwined over time to propel American expansion and empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The powerful relevance of Williams’s interpretation to world politics has only been strengthened by recent events in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. Williams allows us to see that the interests and beliefs that once sent American troops into Texas and California, or Latin America and East Asia, also propelled American forces into Iraq.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393334746
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/6/2009
  • Edition description: 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 431,722
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 2.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A former president of the Organization of American Historians, William Appleman Williams taught for many years at the University of Wisconsin and Oregon State University. His books include The Contours of American History, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, and Empire as a Way of Life.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of international relations and history at Boston University.

Lloyd C. Gardner is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: History and the Transcendence of the Tragic viii
Chapter 1 Imperial Anticolonialism 18
I The Transformation of the Expansionist Outlook
II The Crisis of the 1890s and the Turn to Imperialism
Chapter 2 The Imperialism of Idealism 58
Chapter 3 The Rising Tide of Revolution 90
Chapter 4 The Legend of Isolationism 108
I A Great Debate Over the Tactics of Empire
II The Internationalization of Business
Chapter 5 The War for the American Frontier 162
Chapter 6 The Nightmare of Depression and the Vision of Omnipotence 202
I Roosevelt and Stalin Confront the Dilemmas of Victory
II The Open Door Policy and the Onset of the Cold War
III A New Vision of Omnipotence and A Misreading of History Prompt the United States to Overplay Its Hand
IV The Diplomacy of the Vicious Circle
Chapter 7 The Impotence of Nuclear Supremacy 276
Chapter 8 The Terrifying Momentum Toward Disaster 294
Conclusion: The Wisdom of an Open Door for Revolutions 306
"The Tragedy of American Diplomacy": Twenty-five Years After 313
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