Political History

America in the Shadow of Empires by David Coates (auth.)

By David Coates (auth.)

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Extra resources for America in the Shadow of Empires

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Most serious students of American foreign policy understand the argument that Hurrell is making, but for many of them it is a distinction without a difference. And if the distinction is not important, why make it? Max Boot, for one, does not; nor do Bradley Thayer, Josef Joffe, or Thomas Madden. For Bradley Thayer, when making the case for American Empire, the question is simply put and simply met. “Is America an empire? Yes, it is . . America is an empire, but it is a unique empire . . It does not covet territory or resources.

The British Empire then sits in the middle of the continuum, with the British sometimes using direct colonial control and sometimes political and economic hegemony. The question for us now is where to place the United States on that particular continuum? Can we indeed place it there at all? We can say at least four general things to guide us here. 46 America in the Shadow of Empires First, in general, it is safe to say that the United States does not stand at the classical imperial end of the continuum.

101 This “hollowing out” of American middle-class wages has paralleled the “hollowing out” of American-based manufacturing point for point, and has set in train a set of economic and social processes that now threaten the long-term prosperity of us all. One very standard response by American workers to the failure of their wage rates per hour to grow has been to increase the number of hours they have been prepared to work. The United States is now a long-hours economy when set against the best of the rest elsewhere in the advanced industrial world.

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