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Books By Daniel Immerwahr
Named one of the ten best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune
A Publishers Weekly best book of 2019 | A 2019 NPR Staff Pick
A pathbreaking history of the United States’ overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empire
We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories—the islands, atolls, and archipelagos—this country has governed and inhabited?
In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century’s most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress.
In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.
Winner of the Merle Curti Award in Intellectual History, Organization of American Historians
Co-Winner of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History Book Award
Thinking Small tells the story of how the United States sought to rescue the world from poverty through small-scale, community-based approaches. And it also sounds a warning: such strategies, now again in vogue, have been tried before, with often disastrous consequences.
“Unfortunately, far from eliminating deprivation and attacking the social status quo, bottom-up community development projects often reinforced them…This is a history with real stakes. If that prior campaign’s record is as checkered as Thinking Small argues, then its intellectual descendants must do some serious rethinking… How might those in twenty-first-century development and anti-poverty work forge a better path? They can start by reading Thinking Small.”
—Merlin Chowkwanyun, Boston Review
“As the historian Daniel Immerwahr demonstrates brilliantly in Thinking Small, the history of development has seen constant experimentation with community-based and participatory approaches to economic and social improvement…Immerwahr’s account of these failures should give pause to those who insist that going small is always better than going big.”
—Jamie Martin, The Nation
In fesselnden Episoden schildert Immerwahr die Geschichte des verborgenen US-Imperialismus. Er schreibt über Menschenversuche in Puerto Rico, über den Spanisch-Amerikanischen Krieg auf den Philippinen, dem eine Million Menschen zum Opfer fielen, und über den Rohstoffraub im Pazifik. Um die dortigen Guano-Vorkommen abbauen zu können, erließ der US-Kongress 1856 ein Gesetz, nach dem US-Bürger unbewohnte Inseln für ihr Land annektieren konnten. Über 50 Inseln wurden damit dem US-Territorium hinzugefügt, einige davon sind bis heute unter amerikanischer Kontrolle.
Ein spannend erzähltes Stück Weltgeschichte, das zeigt: Imperialismus und Globalisierung gehen bis heute Hand in Hand. Es ist Zeit, dass die Weltgemeinschaft den Kolonialismus endgültig überwindet.