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How to Hide an Empire: A History of the…
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How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States (original 2019; edition 2020)

by Daniel Immerwahr (Author)

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1,1672317,439 (4.3)13
A pathbreaking history of the United States' overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empire We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an "empire," exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories-the islands, atolls, and archipelagos-this country has governed and inhabited? In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century's most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress. In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.… (more)
Member:davidmcooper
Title:How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States
Authors:Daniel Immerwahr (Author)
Info:Picador (2020), Edition: Reprint, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
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How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr (2019)

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A work of crucial, eye-opening historical recontextualization. This book achieves a clear-headed, well-argued synthesis of complex tangles and byways of American imperial history. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote jasonllester | Jul 9, 2024 |
Excellent, so much information I haven't been exposed to on such familiar topics. The US has acted as an empire for the entirety of its short existence, tho few Americans would call it that. A look at all the territories and countries we've had undue influence on, and how that's affected them. Most of it has to do with our oversized military presence literally everywhere. ( )
  KallieGrace | Dec 18, 2023 |
I walked a fine line between being fascinated by this book and being bored by it. Let me be clear: the fault wasn't with the book or the author. It's incredibly well researched, and at times astonishing, But it's also deeply political (as expected), and politics isn't one of my areas of interest. A book has to be truly outstanding to hold my interest when it deals so heavily with political machinations and maneuvers.

Immerwahr is clearly quite passionate about the subject matter. The vignettes he shares are powerful and striking, but they're also lengthy and in-depth in a way that requires full engagement with the material. For that reason, I struggled to finish this one ( )
  Elizabeth_Cooper | Oct 27, 2023 |
The most interesting book about US history I've ever read. ( )
  wolfe.myles | Feb 28, 2023 |
"Pointillist empire."

There's a point in the middle of the book where Immerwahr transitions from Puerto Rico and the Phillipines to capitalism abroad. It seems to wander until you realize how badly foreign bases and the soft power of commercial and cultural dominance has resulted in so many own-goals in American foreign policy. Where colonial powers held land and conceded to independence movements, the US model held to strategic military and economic hooks that ultimately kindled insurrection via insurgency. The resulting terrorism hence is a direct and inevitable outcome of America's particular method of exerting imperial control across the globe. ( )
  Kavinay | Jan 2, 2023 |
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The only problem is
they don't think much
         about us
in America.
   --Alfredo Navarro Salanga, Manila
Dedication
To the uncounted
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The thirteen colonies that would make up the United States declared independence from Britain in 1776.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A pathbreaking history of the United States' overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empire We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an "empire," exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories-the islands, atolls, and archipelagos-this country has governed and inhabited? In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century's most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress. In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.

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