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The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500–2000 (review)

The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500–2000 (review) R EVIEWS EDITED BY ROBERT S. COX AND R AC H E L K . O N U F The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500­ 2000. By Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton. (New York: Penguin, 2005. Pp. xxiv, 520. Paper, $16.00.) Reviewed by Samuel Watson Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton set out to probe the ``grand narrative'' of American history, in which liberty-loving Americans go to war only to defend themselves against unprovoked threats, in order to explore ``the ambiguous and ironic relationship between war and freedom in the making of North America'' (xxxiii) and the rise of the United States to global power. They question the social, political, economic, and ethnocultural realities of republicanism, the popular idealization of a stateless advance by settlers, and the racist ``Fort Apache'' syndrome, so common in Hollywood, in which small bands of heroic Americans turn back faceless hordes of Indians, Vietnamese Communists, or whomever, without serious inquiry into how the Americans got there in the first place. In doing so, the authors provide a historians' look at American empire, demonstrating its general similarity to other empires, a crucial step in the deconstruction of American exceptionalism. Rejecting http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500–2000 (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 28 (3) – Aug 3, 2008

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

R EVIEWS EDITED BY ROBERT S. COX AND R AC H E L K . O N U F The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500­ 2000. By Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton. (New York: Penguin, 2005. Pp. xxiv, 520. Paper, $16.00.) Reviewed by Samuel Watson Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton set out to probe the ``grand narrative'' of American history, in which liberty-loving Americans go to war only to defend themselves against unprovoked threats, in order to explore ``the ambiguous and ironic relationship between war and freedom in the making of North America'' (xxxiii) and the rise of the United States to global power. They question the social, political, economic, and ethnocultural realities of republicanism, the popular idealization of a stateless advance by settlers, and the racist ``Fort Apache'' syndrome, so common in Hollywood, in which small bands of heroic Americans turn back faceless hordes of Indians, Vietnamese Communists, or whomever, without serious inquiry into how the Americans got there in the first place. In doing so, the authors provide a historians' look at American empire, demonstrating its general similarity to other empires, a crucial step in the deconstruction of American exceptionalism. Rejecting

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Aug 3, 2008

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