A Nation Among Nations: America's Place in World History

Thomas Bender, Author . Hill & Wang $25 (368p) ISBN 978-0-8090-9527-8

Since 1500, argues NYU's Bender (The Unfinished City: New York and the Metropolitan Idea ), people everywhere have participated in a single global history. Yet American historians have often myopically suggested that America exists in a vacuum, isolated from the rest of the world. In this exciting and lucid study, Bender reframes American history, arguing persuasively that America's past must be seen as part of an international story. From the colonization of the New World in the 16th century to the social reforms of the early 20th century, America's triumphs and travails have shaped and been shaped by decisions, people and trends in Europe, Africa and Asia. It is hardly innovative, of course, to interpret the American Revolution as an international event. More arresting is Bender's reading of the Civil War as not simply an internal fight between North and South: it can only be understood when seen as part of "a larger history of... conflicts over nationalism and freedom and the proper balance of central and local authority." This timely book will doubtless turn Bender into a pundit du jour; more importantly, he will help Americans make sense of their place in the wider world, past and present. (Apr. 11)

Reviewed on: 02/06/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-8090-7235-4
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4299-2759-8
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