America, Empire of Liberty
A New History of the United States
By David Reynolds
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465015009, 592pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
List Price: $35.00*
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It was Thomas Jefferson who envisioned the United States as a great empire of liberty.” This paradoxical phrase may be the key to the American saga: How could the anti-empire of 1776 became the world’s greatest superpower? And how did the country that offered unmatched liberty nevertheless found its prosperity on slavery and the dispossession of Native Americans?
In this new single-volume history spanning the entire course of US historyfrom 1776 through the election of Barack Obamaprize-winning historian David Reynolds explains how tensions between empire and liberty have often been resolved by faithboth the evangelical Protestantism that has energized American politics for centuries and the larger faith in American righteousness that has driven the country’s expansion.
Written with verve and insight, Empire of Liberty brilliantly depicts America in all of its many contradictions.
David Reynolds is a professor of international history at Cambridge University. He has held visiting positions at Harvard and at Nihon University in Tokyo and is the author of eight books, including Summits and In Command of History, which was awarded the Wolfson Prize, Britain’s highest honor for the writing of history, and selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He lives in Cambridge, England.