Arc of Empire: America's Wars in Asia from the Philippines to Vietnam

Arc of Empire: America's Wars in Asia from the Philippines to Vietnam

by Michael H. Hunt, Steven Levine

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469613925
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/01/2014
Edition description: 1
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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 twelve 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.

Steven Levine is research faculty associate in the Department of History at the University of Montana and author or editor of seven books, including Anvil of Victory: The Communist Revolution in Manchuria, 1945-1948 and America's Wars in Asia: A Cultural Approach to History and Memory.

Table of Contents


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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A lucid, persuasive, path-breaking study by two historians keenly attuned to both past and present U.S. military engagements. Michael Hunt and Steven Levine place the four devastating wars America fought in Asia between the turn of the century and the 1970s firmly in the context of expansion and empire. They bring the Asian antagonists into these case studies in all their complexity--Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese. And, in a scalding concluding chapter, they apply their insights into war-making, myth-making, and hubris in this earlier 'arc of empire' to present-day U.S. wars in the Middle East. Readers will find this absorbing and provocative start to finish, and many teachers will surely discover that Arc of Empire is terrific for classroom use.--John W. Dower, Ford International Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Hunt and Levine make an invaluable contribution to the ongoing debate regarding America as an empire. With lively prose and attention to the humanity of those involved in these conflicts, they have written a marvelously ambitious book that remains accessible and gripping. This is a gem of a study.--Robert J. McMahon, The Ohio State University

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