Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776” as Want to Read:
From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776 (Oxford History of the United States #12)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  796 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation in print. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize-winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of prestigious Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. From Colony to Superpower is the only thematic volume commissioned for the series. Here George C. Herring uses foreign relations as t ...more
Hardcover, 1056 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published October 21st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Tripp
Aug 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well, I wrapped up the epic From Colony to Superpower, George Herring's epic one volume history of American Foreign Policy. It is a the only thematic book in the Oxford History of the United States. I, for one, loved it. The depth of treatment on the 18th and 19th century was wonderful. As we got to the post-war era, my extensive reading in the subject made it less useful, but still good. Good God, though, is this book long. Thanks to the length, this book is for a select group of people. If two ...more
Cat
Oct 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: americanhistory
We've got a presidential election coming up. I thought it might be a good time to take a run through the entire history of United States foreign policy. And what better way to do so then the forthcoming edition of the Oxford History of the United States series- From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776.

More than anything else, the President of the United States is responsible for this countries' foreign policy. The public isn't always so cognizant of that fact- Presidential el
...more
Bob H
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant summary of America's interactions with the outside world, beginning with Benjamin Franklin's mid-Revolutionary alliance with France. I had not appreciated the contributions our mission to Paris, first during the Revolution, and then during the peace negotiations there, had made to American independence; but for Franklin, John Jay, and John Adams, the U.S. could have emerged with a peace treaty that would have left it far more sickly.

Indeed, the chapter "To Begin The World Over Again"
...more
Ryan
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is exactly what I had hoped it would be. I had initially anticipated that an Oxford history of American Foreign Relations would be the straight man to Howard Zinn's American history rapscallion. The author's name is George C. Herring, a professor at the University of Kentucky, for crying out loud.

But I was pleasantly surprised at how forward-looking this hulking tome was. It treated Native American nations as actual countries that the USA had dealings with, was critically honest about
...more
Rebecca
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it
From a layperson's point of view, I found this book adequately interesting (though at times, tedious) and overall, helpful and informative. It covers precisely what it says it will, the U.S. Foreign policy from 1776 until just after the Iraq war surge of 2007.

Quite understandably, there is an extensive bibliographical essay at the book's end.

In the final two paragraphs, the author broke from the retelling and analysis of America's foreign policy, and wrote his own advice of what this country can
...more
Brian
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From Colony to Superpower provides an overview of United States Foreign Relations from 1776 to the Post 9/11 period looking at not only the events that happened but their paradigm shifts in diplomatic philosophy as each administration came to power. These administrations could be comprised of Congress, Secretary of states, state department bureaucracies or most commonly the President but each is taken in the context of those who were making the decisions. It should also be noted that this book i ...more
Matthew
People who like this sort of thing will like this very much.
Robin Friedman
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Grand Overview Of United States Foreign Relations

This new volume of the Oxford History of the United States tells the story of the foreign relations of the United States from its inception in 1776 to the present day. The author, George C Herring, is the Alumni Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of many books on United States foreign affairs, centering upon the War in Vietnam. Herring's study is nearly 1000 pages in length, but it is not a word too lon
...more
Jerome
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This newer volume of the Oxford History of the United States tells the story of the foreign relations of the United States from its inception in 1776 to the present day. The author, George C Herring, is the Alumni Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of many books on United States foreign affairs, centering upon the War in Vietnam. Herring's study is nearly 1000 pages in length, but it is not a word too long. In its scope, learning, wisdom, and attempt to ...more
Charlie
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
An incredibly detailed diplomatic history of the United States. Nearly everything you could ever want to know about US foreign relations is in here. Although there is very little about the special relationship with Britain. The British pretty much disappear from the narrative after World War 2.
Jeremy Perron
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Before reading this book I had read a series of history books in order to experience a march through the ages of American history. From Colony to Superpower is a march through the ages all by itself, exploring not only how America developed as a nation but also how, throughout its existence, dealt with its brother and sister nations of the world. The book begins with Thomas Paine and finishes with the Administration of George W. Bush.

In Herring's work the reader sees America as a mixture of idea
...more
Christopher
Sep 20, 2013 rated it liked it
This passable survey of US Foreign Policy through 2007 is the only thematic volume in the acclaimed Oxford History of the United States. Because it has to cover the whole history of the Republic (albeit just from the standpoint of foreign policy), it necessarily can't go into as exhaustive an analysis or history as it could if it were focused only on a particular era. That's the book's major failing. While every other edition in the series covers foreign policy in great detail because they have ...more
Brady
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is such an amazing read. Granted I am an international politics buff so I am biased but this was one of the most information-packed books I have ever read. I have never known too much about U.S. or world history so this book really enlightened me to the basics of what happens as well as the in-depth details of the processes and the people behind the decisions. Being such a big book, I am proud of myself for finishing it (even though it was for a class). I honestly just want to read more of ...more
Bradley
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
i love big books and i cannot lie...
post-election i was itching for some historical insight into various aspects of our countrys grand relations with neighbors near and far, and this book has it all, from beginning to end! a very detailed account of foreign relations from revolution forward, this book could one day be regarded as a college text on us foreign policy. particular detail is committed to the usual suspects; the civil war, wwi and wwii, korea, vietnam et al. get the treatment in spade
...more
Halldór Thorgeirsson
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This book moves fast enough to allow the reader to connect events and observe trends while at the same time providing sufficient detail for the narrative to come alive. In one sense, this book is also a history of world affairs and helped me to connect the dots with other developments. One theme goes through the book namely how repeatedly dissension and strive between individuals, which were expected to work together, prevented the desired outcomes to materialize. Ego got in the way of the great ...more
Mike Harper
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I read most of this book twice or three times in preparation for a college international relations course I was scheduled to teach. This would have been the main text because the teachers who taught similar courses before me used it in that manner.
On the plus side, the author doesn't miss much in the way of American foreign policy. Every major personality and every foreign policy situation is covered. But even with a thousand pages to work with, coverage is necessarily "an inch thick and a mile
...more
Joe Starr
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm too embarrassed to admit how long it took me to read this book; but how satisfying it was to be finished! A great read from cover to cover. It touches upon all/most of the key issues in America's foreign policy from 1776 to present. It injects just enough domestic policy to keep the history relevant. I see this as a great gateway device to pick and choose which part of our history you would like to learn more about. Nearly every chapter had me nodding and "ahh'ing" with revelation. Of course ...more
Steve
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
On my second time through this tome, I appreciated its easily readable detail. And once again, it's somewhat an extended bibliographical guide to all things history-of-foreign-relations.

I appreciated the common approach: Nixon wasn't as terrible as he's made out to be, Reagan not so angelic, Bush 1 not so ineffectual, Teddy not so heroic, Taft not so bland, Washington not so removed, etc. For a non-expert, this sort of approach has a kind of reorienting effect: it doesn't steer me toward any fir
...more
Al Velosa
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Did this one as an audiobook as I bicycled. Excellent!
An epic topic, the author succeeds in making us feel some of the contextual reality - particularly in the early stages of our nation's history. The book reminded me how fractious Luton Ito shaw always been and how typical our current partisan divides are. Yet he also highlighted how much these political cycles come and go, depending on the key issues our country faces at any particular time.
I like how the author also emphasized how much we as
...more
Jeremy
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book “From Colony to Super Power” by Gorge C. Herring is a very interesting book. This book is all about United States of America’s foreign relations from 1776 to the modern day. It literally covers all periods of US history in great detail. An example of this amazing detail is how it goes into Russia being the only European nation to support the Union in the in the US Civil War so the United States of America could remain strong to help contain the British colonization powerhouse. Though at ...more
Jessica Oliveira
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I first saw the size of this book, I was extremely discouraged (note: 964 pages), but Herring makes history come alive by giving characters personalities and by explaining their psychologies, in addition to providing the dry details, making it an interesting journey for the reader. I think this book is very insightful for anyone interested in learning more about what makes American foreign policy tick, and up until the final concluding paragraphs, it does a good enough job of remaining neut ...more
J.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Finished several weeks ago. Excellent book in the best tradition of the oxford history series. I like that the book covers comprehensively the foreign policy successes of every
President ending with George W. Bush. I liked that the book confirmed my views about governors as presidents including Clinton, especially Jimmy Carter, and yes George W. Bush and Ron Reagan. Clinton a Rhodes Scholar and graduate of the Georgetown School of International Relations struggled too. If you think you know presi
...more
Ryan Jacob
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Great overview of American foreign policy. A chronological account of all the interactions that the US has had with other countries. Herring spends just as much time on the smaller, lesser-known events and relationships as he does on the big wars that everyone knows. Consequently, those little events really shine and are very interesting. Herring does a good job of staying fairly neutral in his tone and often works hard to tell all sides and all versions of revisionist retrospection. I came out ...more
Grant
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly, a brilliant narrative, taking the place of Bailey's venerable _Diplomatic History of the American People_ as the go-to once volume history of US foreign relations. While not for the easily distracted (or weak of upper body strength), Herring provides a very readable study of the progress of American interactions with the rest of the world. While I wish he had included a chapter on the colonial precursors to US diplomacy, the chronological, geographical, and methodological balances are exc ...more
John Harder
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
In this comprehensive volume you will get everything from Washington and the XYZ affair to our recent difficulties in the in Afghanistan and Iraq. Foreign policy is not just formed by politicians but also by businessmen, travelers, public opinion and of course events on the ground. You throw everything in a bucket with a pinch of hubris, a dash of fear, some patriotism and a fair amount of humanitarianism and somewhere at the end of the sausage machine you get a foreign policy.

Herring does a gre
...more
Nick Harriss
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
This book grew on me as I worked through it. The early parts I found rather dry, probably partly a reflection on my own preference for more modern history, but also because America's early years were rather boring from a foreign policy perspective, However, once we got to the 20th century it livens up considerably, and I found the era of Johnson and Nixon to be especially interesting. Well recommended.
Levie Galapon
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
An immense overlook of US Diplomatic History. Herring does a great job at presenting the facts without tainting the information with too much wide sweeping analysis. The analysis should be done by the readers. This book is a great place to start for those interested in understanding US diplomatic history!
Todd Stansbury
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional and dense. This work is massive and covers exactly what the title says it will. Yet Herring's voice through out remains knowledgeable and sensible, while also staying fairly easy to read. While this book may not be the first one many reach for; its heft does make it difficult to carry and read; any reader would be well served by picking it up.
Manuel
Jul 20, 2014 rated it liked it
For some masochistic reason, I finished reading this behemoth of a book (964 pages). Good survey of the United States's rise to global prominence since its inception in 1776. One takeaway message from the book is that the United States was founded as an empire; and thus current international relations should be viewed in light of this historical fact.
Hadrian
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very thorough, detailed history of U.S. foreign policy and relations. Author has combined interesting insights with staggering depth for one volume study. A tad much for me, but I'll keep this one in mind for further research.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush V. Gore
  • Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815
  • Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945
  • What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
  • American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900
  • To the Best of My Ability
  • The Contours of American History
  • Don't Know Much About the American Presidents
  • The Imperial Presidency
  • The Story of American Freedom
  • The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It
  • 60 Greatest Conspiracies Of All Time - History's Biggest Mysteries, Cover-ups, And Cabals
  • The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648-1815 (PENGUIN HISTORY OF EUROPE)
  • The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789
  • The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln
  • The New Penguin History of The World
  • George F. Kennan: An American Life
  • Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History

Other Books in the Series

Oxford History of the United States (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789
  • Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815
  • What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
  • Battle Cry of Freedom
  • The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896
  • Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945
  • Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974
  • Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush V. Gore
  • Years of Peril and Ambition: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1776-1921
  • The American Century and Beyond: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1893-2014

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Bad Boy
    $7.74 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All Over But the Shoutin'
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change
    $13.99 $1.99
  • WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness
    $5.99 $0.99
“The outbreak of war in 1792 offered enticing opportunities to attain longstanding” 0 likes
More quotes…