What – “American Imperialism? Why, whoever heard of such a thing as “American Imperialism?” After all, everyone knows America is the bastion of liberty and freedom and our forefathers threw off the yoke of imperialism over two centuries ago. How could anyone conceive of putting those two words together in the same sentence?!!
However, the facts of history show that there was a point in American history where the anti-imperialistic sentiment of Americans seemed to change and they accepted a new form of imperialism perpetuated by a handful of influential despots who viewed a nations greatness by its military might and conquests. It is their vision of America that now pervades most American’s idea of who we are in the world and the rightness of our interventionist foreign policy.
In this bloggers opinion, it’s a vision that has taken America a long way down a very wrong road; a road that is very nearly reaching its dismal end. It is sad to see how quickly Americans were able to abandon their principles when the prospect for glory, prestige and power was laid at their doorstep.
I have been convinced for some time now that American imperialism exists and has existed for at least a century but during a recent episode of the Tom Wood’s Show (podcast) I received a better understanding of exactly how and when this came about and who the primary propagators and detractors were in the battle for what would be the future disposition of American foreign policy and attitudes of many of it’s citizens.
Tom’s guest, described on the show notes page:
“Stephen Kinzer is the author of many books, and served for more than 20 years as the New York Times‘ bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua, and as the Boston Globe‘s Latin America correspondent. He is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.”
The conversation centered around Stephen’s latest book, “The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire“. I purchased the Audible version of the book and have listen to the first few chapters which illuminate a history that has been obfuscated by mainstream historians and government schools. I highly recommend it for those who desire an historical understanding deeper than what they received in their 8th grade social studies class and or in all likelihood, their “higher education” classes as well.
“The True Flag” will show you where this whole idea of “American Exceptionalism” came from and how its proponents used (and are still using) the vanity of the average American citizen to further their agenda of American imperialism and hegemony around the globe.