Catalogue


Arc of empire : America's wars in Asia from the Philippines to Vietnam /
Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine.
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2012.
description
340 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780807835289 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2012.
isbn
9780807835289 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction : four wars and the problem of empire -- The Philippines, 1899-1902 : the imperial impulse unleashed -- Japan, 1941-1945 : securing dominance -- Korea, 1950-1953 : dominance challenged -- Vietnam, 1965-1973 : dominance undone -- Conclusion : empire and aftermath.
catalogue key
8289529
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2012-01-01:
This is a history of four connected wars fought by the United States in eastern Asia between 1899 and 1973. From the Philippines to the Pacific theater of World War II to Korea to Vietnam, Hunt (history, emeritus, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Levine (history, Univ. of Montana) show how these wars were connected and the intricate ways that they influenced U.S. foreign policy as well as Asia's culture and politics. The basic premise of the book is that the United States entered these conflicts to spread an imperial doctrine in Asia and hoped to establish a strong foothold in the region politically and militarily. Although Hunt and Levine argue that the United States was ultimately unsuccessful, they explain that much of the effect of those wars can be seen today in China's increasing surge as a dominant world power. The authors highlight that the United States has a long history of such conflicts and that a similar situation may be happening with the current U.S. involvement in the Middle East. VERDICT Recommended for readers interested in current events and 20th-century history, especially military history and U.S.-Asia relations.-Jeremy Spencer, Univ. of California. Law Lib., Davis (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2012-09-01:
Hunt (emer., Univ. of North Carolina) and Levine (Univ. of Montana) have set themselves a considerable task: to prove that US wars in Asia from the insurrection in the Philippines to the Vietnam War were phases in a US attempt to establish a dominant position in eastern Asia. Their excellent account of US wars in the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam illustrate clearly how one conflict led to another. The latter three conflicts are well-known, but most Americans will be shocked by US atrocities committed in crushing the Philippine resistance. The authors tell the stories well, not in meticulous detail, but in broad sweeping insights showing how the conflicts are linked. They conclude by showing parallels with Iraq and Afghanistan. Both authors have extensive publications on these Pacific conflicts. The text is well written, and there is excellent documentation from primary and secondary sources. Best of all is the "Guide to the Historical Literature," in which the authors give appropriate comments on a select bibliography for all four conflicts, as well as the current situation in the Middle East. Required reading for advanced students of modern US history, and therefore a necessary purchase for all academic libraries. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above. M. O'Donnell formerly, CUNY College of Staten Island
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A tremendously important book . . . . It is imperative for all scholars of foreign relations, especially of U.S. foreign relations, to read Arc of Empire ." - Reviews in American History
"This book is written with the support of the intellectual vision and accumulated knowledge of two of the world's most prominent scholars on the history of U.S.-East Asian relations. It provides an original, thoughtful, well-documented and readable 'grand narrative' about how America's empire-building drive in East Asia became connected with the wars in the Philippines, against Japan, in Korea and, then, Vietnam. The depth of the authors' analysis is greatly enhanced as they give keen attention to East Asia's diverse 'local' settings and conditions. Vividly and convincingly highlighted are the strengths and limits of 'American power' even when the United States was ascending to the zenith of its global dominance. Today, at the time that America's leadership role in the world is facing serious challenges, this is a study that neither specialists nor general readers can afford to ignore."--Chen Jian, Cornell University
"[This] book should be illuminating and instructive to all who are concerned about U.S. overseas military involvement and its domestic and international ramifications." - H-Empire Reviews
"Whether you are prone to agree or take issue with this book's controversial premise and conclusions, it is well worth reading." - Missoulian
"Hunt and Levine make an invaluable contribution to the ongoing debate regarding America as an empire. With lively prose and attention to the humanity of those involved in these conflicts, they have written a marvelously ambitious book that remains accessible and gripping. This is a gem of a study."--Robert J. McMahon, The Ohio State University
"Hunt and Levine's book is important . . . to anyone who deals with the history of American foreign policy." - H-War
"Recommended for readers interested in current events and 20th-century history, especially military history and U.S.-Asia relations." - Library Journal
"Required reading for advanced students of modern US history, and therefore a necessary purchase for all academic libraries. Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above." - Choice
"[Hunt and Levine] incorporate important information about "the other side," discuss the devastating impact military actions had on civilians, are not hesitant to reveal atrocious behavior, and examine how imperial rule worked out in practice. Popular culture references enliven the account." - American Historical Review
"A valuable book that merits careful reading. . . . Will encourage readers to take a fresh look at wars usually treated in isolation." - Army History
"A crisp, lively narrative sure to interest scholars in the field, their students, and the general public." - Journal of American History
"A book every historian of American foreign policy will want to read, recommend, and use." - Pacific Historical Review
"A powerful analysis of the American wars in eastern Asia that span the twentieth century." - International Affairs
" Arc of Empire 's propositions and conclusions are eloquently stated and for the most part, it seems to me, true. . . . [It] will add to the knowledge of older readers and enlighten younger ones." - The New York Review of Books
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, January 2012
Choice, September 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Conventionally treated as separate America's four wars in Asia, according to Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine, were actually phases in a sustained U.S. bid for regional dominance. This effort, they argue, unfolded as an imperial project in which military power and the imposition of America's political will were crucial. Devoting equal attention to Asian and American perspectives, the authors follow the long arc of conflict across seventy-five years, from the Philippines through Japan and Korea to Vietnam, in order to trace American ambition, ascendance, and ultimate defeat. They show how these wars are etched deeply in Asia's politics and culture. The authors encourage readers to confront the imperial pattern in U.S. history with implications for today's Middle Eastern conflicts. They also offer a deeper understanding of China's rise and Asia's place in today's world.
Main Description
Although conventionally treated as separate, America's four wars in Asia were actually phases in a sustained U.S. bid for regional dominance, according to Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine. This effort unfolded as an imperial project in which military power and the imposition of America's political will were crucial. Devoting equal attention to Asian and American perspectives, the authors follow the long arc of conflict across seventy-five years from the Philippines through Japan and Korea to Vietnam, tracing along the way American ambition, ascendance, and ultimate defeat. They show how these wars are etched deeply in eastern Asia's politics and culture. The authors encourage readers to confront the imperial pattern in U.S. history with implications for today's Middle Eastern conflicts. They also offer a deeper understanding of China's rise and Asia's place in today's world.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Four Wars and the Problem of Empirep. 1
The Philippines, 1899-1902
The imperial Impulse Unleashedp. 10
Japan, 1941-1945
Securing Dominancep. 64
Korea, 1950-1953
Dominance Challengedp. 120
Vietnam, 1965-1953
Dominance Undonep. 185
Conclusion: Empire and Aftermath
Notesp. 281
Guide to the Historical Literaturep. 305
Acknowledgmentsp. 325
Sources of Illustrationsp. 327
Indexp. 329
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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