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James Kurth's THE AMERICAN WAY OF EMPIRE: How America Won a World--But Lost Her Way

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on February 14, 2020 16:07

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Full disclosure: My company published this book last December. After fruitlessly waiting months for reviews in other media, I'm publishing one here myself, because I think it is an important study which deserves serious public discussion and debate as a worthy successor to Samuel Huntington's 1996 "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order."

James Kurth's THE AMERICAN WAY OF EMPIRE: How America Won a World--but Lost Her Way is an important book which deserves serious consideration at this critical time.

Kurth offers a needed course-correction for American foreign policy after failed responses to both the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks and the 2008 global economic meltdown. He discusses big questions concerning war, peace, and the lessons of history outlined in The Clash of Civilizations.

The American Way of Empire challenges America's lackluster response to Islamic terrorism and globalization. This is critiqued in the context of World War II's failed international relations theories.

Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan are among case studies highlighted in a magisterial overview of American expansion and contraction since the defeat of Germany and Japan. Larger questions of power bloc dynamics, spheres of influence, and imperial designs are analyzed in relation to Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Great power conflicts of European empires are examined for their relevance to problems the United States faces, especially after the purported "End of History" in confrontations with Eastern countries. 

Domestic American politics are examined sector-by-sector--geographically and economically. 

As Peter Miller noted on Amazon: "One of Kurth's virtues as a historian is to puncture the fantasies that govern elite policy-making. While pretense is of the essence of diplomacy, the occupational hazard of the statesman is to believe his own propaganda. Such delusions become dangerous when they depart too far from reality. U.S. elites, arrogantly proclaiming 'the end of history', set out to re-make the entire world in America's image. In doing so they allowed themselves to be misled into several fantasies of their own making."

Perhaps the most striking aspect of this analysis is Kurth's explanation of the religious foundation of American foreign policy in what he calls "The Protestant Deformation". This resulted from American elites eliminating of the concept of God from a Protestant attitude towards international affairs.

This deformation has created severe analytical problems when confronting other civilizations less confused about their own religious roots, most notably Islamists.

Historian Andrew Bacevich states: "When it comes to deciphering the mysteries and contradictions of American statecraft, no one holds a candle to James Kurth. Let me emphasize that: No one."

The American Way of Empire presents a masterful reconsideration of past and present American foreign policy development that points to an alternative path forward towards another American century. 

 

 

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on February 14, 2020 16:07

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Source: Mediaite

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