American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to by Neil Smith

By Neil Smith

An American Empire, built during the last century, some time past overtook eu colonialism, and it's been commonly assumed that the recent globalism it espoused took us "beyond geography." Neil Smith debunks that assumption, delivering an incisive argument that American globalism had a different geography and was once pieced jointly as a part of a strong geographical imaginative and prescient. the ability of geography didn't die with the twilight of ecu colonialism, however it did switch essentially. That the inauguration of the yank Century introduced a lack of public geographical sensibility within the usa was once itself a political symptom of the rising empire. This ebook offers an important geographical-historical context for knowing the facility and boundaries of up to date globalization, that may now be noticeable as representing the 3rd of 3 precise ancient moments of U.S. international ambition.The tale unfolds via a decisive account of the occupation of Isaiah Bowman (1878-1950), the main well-known American geographer of the 20th century. for almost 4 many years Bowman operated round the vortex of nation strength, operating to convey an American order to the worldwide panorama. An explorer at the well-known Machu Picchu day trip of 1911 who got here to be recognized first as "Woodrow Wilson's geographer," and later as Frankin D. Roosevelt's, Bowman used to be current on the production of U.S. liberal overseas coverage. A quarter-century later, Bowman was once on the heart of Roosevelt's country division, focused on the disposition of Germany and heightened U.S. entry to eu colonies; he was once defined through Dean Acheson as a key "architect of the United Nations." In that interval he used to be a pace-setter in American technological know-how, served as president of Johns Hopkins collage, and have become an early and vociferous chilly warrior. a sophisticated, contradictory, and every now and then debatable determine who used to be a great deal within the public eye, he seemed at the conceal of Time journal. Bowman's occupation as a geographer in an period while the price of geography used to be deeply puzzled offers a distinct window into the contradictory makes use of of geographical wisdom within the building of the yankee Empire. Smith's ancient excavation unearths, in extensive strokes but with energetic element, that trendy American-inspired globalization springs no longer from the Eighties yet from previous moments in 1919 and 1945, either one of which led to failure. by way of recharting the geography of this background, Smith brings the politics--and the limits--of modern globalization sharply into concentration.

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31 So powerfully mourned in the whole subsequent edifice of Turnerian history and replicated in myriad forms up to and including the contemporary nostalgia for old places in a globalizing world, this loss of vacant, conquerable space has provided an enduring wellspring for the antispatial imagination of the American Century. The contradiction between a spaceless and spatially constituted globalism took a very specific form in this period. Geography was either a pivot of history or its dregs. S. ruling classes in the 1890s was not primarily one of space, however, for all that it came to be expressed that way.

Lost geography of the american century / 5 the end of geography, or geographical parallax+ The rise of the American Empire was the most commanding event in the political and cultural economy of the twentieth century, and as the 11 September catastrophe demonstrates, it casts a long shadow over the twentyfirst. S. rise to globalism. A barely formed nation at the end of the nineteenth century with a dramatically expanding industrial economy, the United States flexed military-geographical muscle and supranational ambition in the acquisitive, classically colonial wars of 1898, but with entry into World War I and the promise of Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, a different and more ambitious global amplitude was announced.

S. power in terms that weave history, economy, and geography into an integral global if nationally centered vision. Second, and indicative, it is an American “empire” to which this scion of a major aristocratic family aspires (his grandfather and great-grandfather had both been presidents). Writing only two years after Adams and from the opposite shore of the Atlantic, Halford Mackinder, the geographer, educator, and member of Parliament made an even more epochal connection among geography, economics, and history.

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