The best-selling author of Overthrow and The Brothers brings to life the forgotten political debate that set America's interventionist course in the world for the 20th century and beyond.
How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat - until the cycle begins again.
No matter how often we debate this question, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country.
Revealing a piece of forgotten history in The True Flag, Stephen Kinzer transports us to the dawn of the 20th century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation.
The country's best-known political and intellectual leaders took sides. Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst pushed for imperial expansion; Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie preached restraint. Only once before - in the period when the United States was founded - have so many brilliant Americans so eloquently debated a question so fraught with meaning for all humanity.
All Americans, regardless of political perspective, can take inspiration from the titans who faced off in this epic confrontation. Their words are amazingly current. Every argument over America's role in the world grows from this one. It all starts here. This program includes an introduction read by the author.
©2017 Stephen Kinzer (P)2017 Macmillan Audio
This well told history of the Spanish American War serves up many insights into the roots, motivations, and perils of American intervetion abroad right up to our present quagmires in Iraq and Afganistan. The heated political debates among giant personalities are as relevant today as they were in the 1890s. These are lessons we have not yet learned as a nation. Our failure heed them will create an increasingly unstable and dangerous world. Excellent and important book. Highly recommended.
I'm currently active duty Army with 17 years in service. In my opinion, this book should be read by every soldier and, most importantly, by our politicians who decide whether to send us into harms way. As the author demonstrates so eloquently in this book, intervention abroad (whether by democrats or republicans) rarely leads to the intended goals due to ignorance, hubris, and unintended consequences. The Spanish-American War is a little understood and rarely discussed period of American military history. But that really should change given that the vigorous debate surrounding it are just as relevant today as they were over 100 years ago.
Everyone should read this important and timely book revealing the roots of america's I'll gotten empire.
Another great read from one of the foremost authorities on U.S. foreign policy and its consequences. Objective and frank, Mr. Kinzer takes us back into the earliest days of our nation's imperial ambitions and the political forces that shaped it. Very interesting content and great narration make this a top ten in my audio book collection.
I had never heard of some of these events that are covered in this book. Fascinating.
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