How to hide an empire

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how to hide an empire

How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

A pathbreaking history of the United States overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empire

We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an empire, exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories--the islands, atolls, and archipelagos--this country has governed and inhabited?

In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth centurys most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress.

In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of space. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.
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Published 05.04.2019

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How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States

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September 26, 2019

Empire have been shot, shelled, starved, interned, dispossessed, tortured and experimented on. Critics of American foreign policy have long accused the country of imperialism in a general sense — of meddling and bullying, starting wars and inciting coups — but Immerwahr, a historian at Northwestern University, wants to draw attention to actual territory, to those islands and archipelagos too often sidelined in the national imagination. To call this standout book a corrective would make it sound earnest and dutiful, when in fact it is wry, readable and often astonishing.

Bridey Heing Longreads March 13 minutes 3, words. Immerwahr posits that, for the vast majority of people living in the contiguous United States, our understanding of our own country is fundamentally flawed. This is for one central reason: We omit the millions of people and large territorial holdings outside of the mainland that have, since the founding of the country, also had a claim to the flag. In his book, Immerwahr traces US expansion from the days of Daniel Boone to our modern network of military bases, showing how the United States has always and in a variety of ways been an empire. As early as the s, the United States was taking control of uninhabited islands; by , the United States was having public debates about the merits of imperial power; by the end of World War II, the United States held jurisdiction over more people overseas — million — than on the mainland — million.

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe. Immerwahr, a Chicago-based historian and Northwestern University professor, spares no crucial details in his survey of the history of the United States outside the 50 states. Through a sweeping examination of American colonialism past and present, including now-states Alaska and Hawaii, former holdings such as the Philippines, and enduring territories like Puerto Rico, Immerwahr paints a picture of imperialism as an intractable force in American history from the very beginning. How to Hide an Empire reads like a secret history, and in some sense, it is. Vignettes of imperial foibles contain both unspeakable violence more than a million people killed in the Philippines during World War II, bystanders shot dead in the street during a Puerto Rican police massacre and absurd episodes bird shit as a highly valued commodity; an attempt by a former U. Most fascinating, perhaps, is Immerwahr's exploration of how language, culture, and technology serve as tools in a softer and subtler but perhaps equally pervasive form of American imperialism.

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  1. How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States [Daniel Immerwahr ] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A pathbreaking history.

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