John A. Thompson takes a long view of America's dramatic rise as a world power, from the late 19th century into the post-World War II era. He shows how American leaders from Wilson to Truman developed an ever more capacious understanding of the national interest, and why by the 1940s most Americans came to support the price tag, in blood and treasure, attached to strenuous efforts to shape the world. The beliefs and emotions that led them to do so reflected distinctive aspects of U.S. culture, not least the strength of ties to Europe. Consciousness of the nation's unique power fostered feelings of responsibility, entitlement, and aspiration among the people and leaders of the United States.
This original analysis challenges some widely held beliefs about the determinants of United States foreign policy and will bring new insight to contemporary debates about whether the nation should-or must-play so active a part in world politics.
The book is published by Cornell University Press.
"Publication of A Sense of Power is an important moment in the evolution of American diplomatic history." (Jeffrey A. Engel, Director of the Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University.)
"This is a wonderful book that all students of international relations must read as they ponder the appropriate role of the United States in world affairs." (Melvyn P. Leffler, University of Virginia)
"John A. Thompson's book is required reading for all those interested not only in how America rose to superpower status, but why it did so." (Richard Fontaine, President of the Center for a New American Security)
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