Nineteenth-century globalization made America exceptional. On the back of European money and immigration, America became an empire with considerable skill at conquest but little experience administering other people’s, or its own, affairs, which it preferred to leave to the energies of private enterprise. The nation’s resulting state institutions and traditions left America immune to the trends of national development and ever after unable to persuade other peoples to follow its example.
In this concise, argumentative book, Eric Rauchway traces how, from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, the world allowed the United States to become unique and the consequent dangers we face to this very day.
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