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The True Flag Audiobook

The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire

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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-29-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Highly Relevant History Lesson Well Told."

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua C. Packard 02-20-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Timely and important"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack O 04-29-17
    Jack O 04-29-17
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    "Today's political atmosphere explained through History"

    When one takes a look at the beginnings of the policies that formed today's political climate, a greater understanding of our times can be achieved. Expansionism, Imperialism, or conquest beyond our current borders didn't just start with the latest Presidency. Looking at Teddy Roosevelt , the Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrection, McKinley's assassination and other events of the period will help us see how America got where we are today.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Brighton, CO, United States 05-30-17
    Donna Brighton, CO, United States 05-30-17 Member Since 2013
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    "The History of US Imperialism is long and bloody"

    My feelings about Theodore Roosevelt are mixed . I love his preservation of our history and environment, but I hate his racism. His role in establishing on imperial foreign policy are an additional black mark in my estimation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy in NC Raleigh, NC 05-30-17
    Nancy in NC Raleigh, NC 05-30-17 Member Since 2016
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    "An Eye Opener!"

    A well researched, well written and well narrated history of Spanish American War and beyond.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Pufalt Creve Coeur, MO United States 05-27-17
    Caroline Pufalt Creve Coeur, MO United States 05-27-17 Member Since 2013
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    "History at its best"

    What an eye opener. You think you know American history, including our sorry role in the Philippines, but the author reveals much more. The details about the national debate at the time is fascinating and disturbing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason United States 05-25-17
    Jason United States 05-25-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Required to understand today's political world!"

    Kinzer lays out in detail the men and thinking that changed American foreign policy- and the world by consequence.
    This book is both insightful and depressing in that it showcases how the same false premises are used time and again to justify military action as a means of economic growth.

    Truly a book I'd want any member of Congress- and the citizens that vote for them- to read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert in SFO 04-20-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Revealing history, entertainingly told"

    Tells the fascinating story of how the U.S. became involved in its first major wars of overseas conquest. In less than a year, the U.S. conquered Cuba, Guam and the Philippines. Far from being wholeheartedly supported, there was a huge debate about the role of the U.S. In the world. Indeed it was a conflict over the very soul of the nation. Colorful figures were on each side, led by Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain. Kinzer tells the story engagingly, and the narrator does a terrific job of conveying the drama of the era. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Tam Hunt Santa Barbara 03-24-17
    Tam Hunt Santa Barbara 03-24-17 Member Since 2010

    Enjoying

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    "Excellent and important book"

    Everyone should read this important and timely book revealing the roots of america's I'll gotten empire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jeff JOPLIN, MO, United States 03-08-17
    Jeff JOPLIN, MO, United States 03-08-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Kinzer does it again."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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