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Publisher's Summary

In the early 19th century, the United States turned its idealistic gaze southward, imagining a legacy of revolution and republicanism it hoped would dominate the American hemisphere. From pulsing port cities to Midwestern farms and Southern plantations, an adolescent nation hailed Latin America's independence movements as glorious tropical reprises of 1776. Even as Latin Americans were gradually ending slavery, US observers remained energized by the belief that their founding ideals were triumphing over European tyranny among their "sister republics". But as slavery became a violently divisive issue at home, goodwill toward antislavery revolutionaries waned.

By the nation's 50th anniversary, republican efforts abroad had become a scaffold upon which many in the United States erected an ideology of white US exceptionalism that would haunt the geopolitical landscape for generations. Marshaling groundbreaking research in four languages, Caitlin Fitz defines this hugely significant, previously unacknowledged turning point in US history.

©2016 Caitlin Fitz (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Our Sister Republics provides an alternative picture of who we might have been, and just maybe, whom we might become." (Amy Greenberg, author of A Wicked War)

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the changing tide Antebellum ideals

An interesting look into how the early U.S. once cheered South American revolutions before the planter class reminded everyone that equality was really only for whites. Countries define themselves by comparison to other countries. International histories of this time often focus on how the U.S. defined itself against the old world. This book on the other hand, sheds light on how the U.S. saw it's influence on its southern neighbors. It's fascinating to see how revolutionary fervor devolved into a sectional disagreement about the fundamental ideal of "all men are created equal."
My only quibbles with this book is the brevity and the repetitive sentence structures. I wish the book had looked at how the sectional debate over equality informed the Mexican-American War of 1846. also, please stop using "indeed" to start a sentence. Especially in the audiobook format, it's use is distracting to the point of annoyance.
I found the narrator's pace to be too slow, but thankfully Audible's app allowed me to speed it up and make it listenable. I also found her mispronunciations to be similarly distracting.