American Power: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Globalism, 1918-1988

John Taft, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22.5 (321p) ISBN 978-0-06-016133-0
Taft approaches this country's diplomacy in the 20th century and the entropy of American power biographically, focusing on internationalist liberals such as Averell Harriman, Chester Bowles and Henry Cabot Lodge, who tended to view the world as an extension of the United States and treated diplomacy as an extension of domestic politics. Emerging from the progressivism of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, these leaders were flag-bearers of an idealistic globalism that enjoyed great success during WW II and the immediate postwar years when America reached its apogee of influence and power. Taft ( Mayday at Yale ) describes the eclipse of that idealism during the Vietnam War, accompanied by a decline in faith of almost every kind of foreign adventure, and analyzes the reemergence of isolationist liberalism with the Star Wars dream of a self-sufficient Fortress America. The book is the companion volume to a PBS TV series. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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