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

By Neil Smith

An American Empire, built during the last century, some time past overtook eu colonialism, and it's been largely 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 unique geography and was once pieced jointly as a part of a strong geographical imaginative and prescient. the facility of geography didn't die with the twilight of eu colonialism, however it did swap 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 e-book offers an important geographical-historical context for knowing the ability and bounds of latest globalization, that can now be visible as representing the 3rd of 3 exact historic 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 20 th century. for almost 4 many years Bowman operated round the vortex of kingdom energy, operating to carry 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 was once current on the construction of U.S. liberal overseas coverage. A quarter-century later, Bowman used to be on the middle of Roosevelt's nation division, fascinated by the disposition of Germany and heightened U.S. entry to eu colonies; he used to be defined through Dean Acheson as a key "architect of the United Nations." In that interval he was once a pacesetter in American technology, served as president of Johns Hopkins collage, and have become an early and vociferous chilly warrior. a sophisticated, contradictory, and now and then debatable determine who was once greatly within the public eye, he seemed at the conceal of Time journal. Bowman's occupation as a geographer in an period whilst the worth of geography was once deeply wondered presents a distinct window into the contradictory makes use of of geographical wisdom within the development of the yankee Empire. Smith's old excavation finds, in huge strokes but with vigorous element, that present day American-inspired globalization springs no longer from the Nineteen Eighties yet from prior moments in 1919 and 1945, either one of which led to failure. through recharting the geography of this background, Smith brings the politics--and the limits--of modern globalization sharply into concentration.

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Long before Luce announced the American Century—almost two years before the United States was even in the war—the State Department and the Rockefeller Foundation joined with the Council on Foreign Relations to carry out an elaborate study of postwar planning, which gradually, throughout the war years, crystallized a very precise geographical vision of what postwar American globalism lost geography of the american century / 21 would look like. A new political and economic geography was very much the point in the State Department, if not in the pages of Life, and Roosevelt’s version of a new world order was an intensely geographical affair.

Viewed this way, “globalization” after 1989 can be seen as a contemporary remapping strategy and as a fervent attempt to redress the geographical divisions established after 1945—a second chance at Yalta, the wartime conference where the global geographical carve-up among the three most powerful allies was consummated and the cold war took an increasingly spatial identity. The deep sighs of epochal relief from the Western ruling classes after 1989 were mixed with unconstrained glee as the “capitalist revolution” engulfing the erstwhile second world reverberated globally in ever-intensifying reaffirmations of neoliberalism.

But just as certainly he was struggling toward something more profoundly significant than merely reproducing a “Cartesian absolutism” of global space. ” Irrevocable change heralded a new epoch. However ominously for his own liberal nationalism, the heartland thesis placed Germany and Russia at the geographical core of imminent world history, and this represented a cautious relativizing of spatial relations among different nations even as it reaffirmed the fixity of nation-states’ structures per se.

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