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A curate's egg
An enjoyable but annoying read that lays claim to being an historical work whilst adopting the less demanding techniques of journalism. At times, the research base is magnificent. But there are some breathtakingly shallow dismissals of opposing positions that owe more to the author's presuppositions than to any evidence that he presents. Seeing Eisenhower/Dulles as typical of America's presidential attitude to Israel is inadequate, as is his sweeping disregard for aid organisations as an alternative to military adventures.
Although the big suprise of 'Colossus' does indeed come with its promotion of American imperialism, one gets the feeling that Ferguson has discarded his professional objectivity for the sake of a little controversy. Taking an unlikely stance on a topic and gathering statistics to support you is not as difficult as it may seem, but will gain Ferguson little academic acclaim. His eclectic take on the US' overseas adventures and scathing dismissal of one of the finest historians of our time will not go unmissed by those with a real interest in international affairs.