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American Empire: The Rise of a Global Power, the Democratic Revolution at Home 1945-2000 (The Penguin History of the United States #5)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A compelling look at the movements and developments that propelled America to world dominance

In this landmark work, acclaimed historian Joshua Freeman has created an epic portrait of a nation both galvanized by change and driven by conflict. Beginning in 1945, the economic juggernaut awakened by World War II transformed a country once defined by its regional character into
Hardcover, 1st U.S., 512 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Viking Adult
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Imagine the Midwest in 1945--acres of farmland, the rhythmic hum of factories, a time when life was full of hard work and family. This is where we begin Joshua B. Freeman's American Empire, a sweeping look at the history of the United States after World War II. With such a large subject matter in both time and geography, this book necessarily skims over the intricate specifics but is a broad panorama of our cultural landscape. What emerges is a view of a country still defining itself, still shif ...more
James Trent
A well-written and thorough analysis of the United States from the post-World War II years through the end of the century. Freeman weaves together material from economic, social, and political history, while also remaining sensitive to the various changes that occur regionally in the nation. Finally, the book speaks to the issue of empire - of its vanities, its values, and its vicissitudes.
Joshua Freeman tells us a history that many others have told much better. When I read this book I find myself thinking of something that I have enjoyed before but much better. This is like a history hot pocket in that it is technically what it claims to be but it doesn't really offer us anything satisfactory or anything that is revelatory. We all can see that America became the premier nation state of the second half of the 20th century but the down sides and negative aspects of this time period ...more
This book is a great overview and synthesis of American history over the last fifty or sixty years. It shows how a mostly rural America became a huge modern society taking its place on the world stage. What was most intriguing was the authors ability to show how growth within and foreign policy outside America influenced each other.
One-Minute Review
Joshua Freeman’s American Empire is a history in the tradition of great single-volume accounts of big topics. Freeman has achieved this concision by anchoring his narrative around the big ideas of recent American history – the military-industrial complex, the civil rights movement, and Reaganism – instead of simply chronicling the important dates of post-war America. He examines the rise of these ideas in American society and deftly shows how the debates around them drove social
Mar 31, 2014 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everybody interested in postwar American history
Joshua Freeman's book provides a comprehensive overview of American history since World War II. He organizes his narrative around three themes: the postwar growth enjoyed by the American economy, the transformation of democracy within the United States, and the expanded relationship between the United States and the rest of the world. Through them, he examines the impact of events over the course of the latter half of the 20th century. His coverage is surprisingly thorough, extending over the po ...more
Tainted with good old liberal enthusiasm, but a wonderful and informative chronological read nonetheless.
Ian Rocksborough-smith
Great post-45 survey - integrates analysis of US empire and critical views of exceptionalism.
Interesting book, Freeman doesn't excuse the Americans as some of them usually do, and underlines many things that could have been done in a different and much more useful way for them and for the rest of the world.

Libro interessante, Freeman non scusa gli americani come spesso loro fanno, ma sottolinea molte delle cose che avrebbero potuto essere fatte in modo diverso, molto più utile, sia per loro che per il resto del mondo.

Christopher Leary
A very interesting history not least because the period covers my own lifetime. I often got flashbacks as the story progressed. Particularly interesting too to see the shift over time to the hyper-capitalism that is today's norm. From today's perspective the golden age of the 50s and 60s almost looks like some kind of socialist utopia for the non-rich. Follow the story of what happens next and weep. Recommended.
A very informative read about US regulation in the economic, military, foreign policy and how we got into the mess we are today.
Richard Salas
Tough read but really informational and insightful
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