Brian 's Reviews > Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America's Civilizing Mission

Dominance by Design by Michael B. Adas
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Nov 01, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: american-history-general

This book attempts to look at the course of American history from the colonial days through the gulf war. There are times when this book comes close to achieving its goal but most of the time it is a very general overview that is lacking in points. The technology described does not seem to relate to what the author wants to talk about and the argument comes out fairly week. This is a book that should be able to hold the readers interest with how fascinating an idea of how technology made America a superpower. While this premise is true it is not shown through this book. Furthermore there are severe typos that actually make it hard to understand at times.

The second half of the book is where the argument really begins to fall apart. The analysis of Vietnam comes close to understanding how unprepared the United States was for guerrilla warfare but Adas demonstrates ignorance of the larger issues of the cold war. The entire buildup under Reagan is absent from the book. The place where the book should really have stopped was at the analysis of the Gulf War. There is no understanding of the global oil market and it actually went as far to state that Saddam improved condition of Iraq for the people there. While ignoring death camps for Kurds and mass graves were occurring we see Saddam in a supposed good light. The terrorist attacks on the United States are even worse in their portrayal. The understanding of response to Bin Laden and his lack of research on the 1990's terrorist attacks is abysmal. Please see the 9/11 commission report for an actual understanding of how terrorism was evolving in the 1990's. This book is barely worth one star. Just disappointing.
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