The United States of War: A Global History of America's Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State

The United States of War: A Global History of America's Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State

by David Vine

Hardcover(First Edition)

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2020 L.A. Times Book Prize Finalist, History

A provocative examination of how the U.S. military has shaped our entire world, from today’s costly, endless wars to the prominence of violence in everyday American life.

The United States has been fighting wars constantly since invading Afghanistan in 2001. This nonstop warfare is far less exceptional than it might seem: the United States has been at war or has invaded other countries almost every year since independence. In The United States of War, David Vine traces this pattern of bloody conflict from Columbus’s 1494 arrival in Guantanamo Bay through the 250-year expansion of a global US empire. Drawing on historical and firsthand anthropological research in fourteen countries and territories, The United States of War demonstrates how US leaders across generations have locked the United States in a self-perpetuating system of permanent war by constructing the world’s largest-ever collection of foreign military bases—a global matrix that has made offensive interventionist wars more likely. Beyond exposing the profit-making desires, political interests, racism, and toxic masculinity underlying the country’s relationship to war and empire, The United States of War shows how the long history of U.S. military expansion shapes our daily lives, from today’s multi-trillion–dollar wars to the pervasiveness of violence and militarism in everyday U.S. life. The book concludes by confronting the catastrophic toll of American wars—which have left millions dead, wounded, and displaced—while offering proposals for how we can end the fighting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520300873
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/13/2020
Series: California Series in Public Anthropology , #48
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 117,707
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

David Vine is Professor of Anthropology at American University. His other books include Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World and Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
A Note on Language and Terminology

Introduction: “If We Build Them, Wars Will Come” 

Part I Imperial Succession
1. Conquest
2. Occupied

Part II Expanding Empire
3. Why Are So Many Places Named Fort?
4. Invading Your Neighbors
5. The Permanent Indian Frontier
6. Going Global

Part III imperial transitions
7. The Military Opens Doors
8. Reopening the Frontier

Part IV Global Empire
9. Empire of Bases 
10. The Spoils of War
11. Normalizing Occupation
12. Islands of Imperialism
13. The Colonial Present
14. Building Blowback

Part V Hyperimperialism
15. Did the “Cold War” End?
16. Out-of-Control War
17. War Is the Mission

Conclusion: Ending “Endless Wars”

Gratitude and Thanks
Appendix: U.S. Wars, Combat, and Other Combat Actions Abroad
Suggested Resources

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