From Colony to Superpower Summary and Reviews

From Colony to Superpower

U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776 (Oxford History of the United States)

by George C. Herring

From Colony to Superpower by George C. Herring X
From Colony to Superpower by George C. Herring
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Book Summary

The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation in print. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize-winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of prestigious Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. From Colony to Superpower is the only thematic volume commissioned for the series. Here George C. Herring uses foreign relations as the lens through which to tell the story of America's dramatic rise from thirteen disparate colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast to the world's greatest superpower.

A sweeping account of United States' foreign relations and diplomacy, this magisterial volume documents America's interaction with other peoples and nations of the world. Herring tells a story of stunning successes and sometimes tragic failures, captured in a fast-paced narrative that illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation, and highlights its ongoing impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. He shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of an "American way" of life. And Herring does all this in a story rich in human drama and filled with epic events. Statesmen such as Benjamin Franklin and Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman and Dean Acheson played key roles in America's rise to world power. But America's expansion as a nation also owes much to the adventurers and explorers, the sea captains, merchants and captains of industry, the missionaries and diplomats, who discovered or charted new lands, developed new avenues of commerce, and established and defended the nation's interests in foreign lands.

From the American Revolution to the fifty-year struggle with communism and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, From Colony to Superpower tells the dramatic story of America's emergence as superpower--its birth in revolution, its troubled present, and its uncertain future.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Herring's lucid prose and thought-provoking arguments give this large tome a pace that never flags." - Publishers Weekly.

"The author's quick character sketches of the actors who move this narrative forward bring life to a subject that could, in less skilled hands, easily induce tedium. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries." - Library Journal.

"In this splendidly detailed account, George Herring expertly guides us through the rich and fascinating story of America's foreign relations. This is history on a grand scale, clearly and elegantly rendered. Anyone who wants to understand how the United States has come to occupy its current place on the world stage should read this magisterial book." - Fredrik Logevall, co-author of A People and a Nation.

"Readers of his work knew that George Herring's review of U.S. foreign policy would be scrupulously fair-minded but may not have anticipated so broad a sweep and so deeply felt an analysis. In swift and highly readable prose, Professor Herring explains us unforgettably to ourselves." - A. J. Langguth, author of Our Vietnam.

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Author Information

George C. Herring

George C. Herring is Alumni Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Kentucky. A leading authority on U.S. foreign relations, he is the former editor of Diplomatic History and a past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He is the author of America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975, among other books.

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