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Walter A. McDougall has 1 media appearance.

Jun
15
Walter McDougall
Booknotes, Sunday, June 15, 1997
Walter McDougall discusses Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776.

From The Federalist Papers and Alexis de Toqueville to Freud and Clint Eastwood, there has been a connection between U.S. foreign policy and American attitudes, principles, and language. In PROMISED LAND, CRUSADER STATE: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Walter McDougall meditates on the underlying themes and principles that have informed those foreign policies since the American Revolution, with an eye toward formulating what ought to be the guidelines of American foreign policy in the post Cold War era. "Americans, habitually given either to isolationism or crusades, find themselves in the novel position of being unable either to escape or remake a nettlesome world," McDougall says. Taking up the torch of George Kennan, McDougall offers guidelines for post-Cold War American foreign policy. He discusses which American traditions we ought to preserve (or rediscover) and apply to diplomacy today, and which traditions we may safely discard as irrelevant or even repugnant. He combines a healthy dose of skepticism with common sense to explore and argue in favor of non-intervention. PROMISED LAND, CRUSADER STATE looks back over two centuries and draws a striking contrast between America as a Promised Land, a vision that inspired the "Old Testament" of our diplomatic wisdom through the nineteenth century, and the contrary vision of America as a Crusader State, which inspired the "New Testament" of our foreign policy beginning at the time of the Spanish-American War and reaching its fulfillment in Vietnam. McDougall's survey of American foreign policy identifies eight traditions from which to reshape foreign policy: Liberty (or Exceptionalism), Unilateralism (or Isolationism), the American System (or Monroe Doctrine), Expansionism (or Manifest Destiny), Progressive Imperialism, Liberal Internationalism (or Wilsonianism), Containment, and Global Meliorism. Entertaining, fast-paced, and learned, PROMISED LAND, CRUSADER STATE is an iconoclastic reinterpretation of the traditions that have shaped U.S. foreign policy from 1776 to the present. —from the publisher's website (timspalding)… (more)
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