Leading Them to the Promised Land: Woodrow Wilson, Covenant Theology, and the Mexican Revolution, 1913–191501/01/2010
How Wilson’s religious heritage shaped his response to the Mexican Revolution
“In Wilson’s view, America had a part to play as a divine instrument. To deny the United States an active role in the world was an attempt to deny God’s will.” —from the Introduction
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution mandates that government and religious institutions remain separate and independent of each other. Yet, the influence of religion on American leaders and their political decisions cannot be refuted.Leading Them to the Promised Land is the first book to look at how Presbyterian Covenant Theology affected U.S. president Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy during the Mexican Revolution.
The son of a prominent southern minister, Wilson was a devout Presbyterian. Throughout his life he displayed a strong conviction that covenants, or formal promises made binding by an oath to God, should be the basis for human relationships, including those between government and public organizations. This belief is demonstrated in Wilson’s attempt to bring peaceful order to the world with the 1919 Covenant of the League of Nations.
Through careful investigation of Wilson’s writings and correspondence, along with other contemporary sources, author Mark Benbow shows how Wilson’s religious heritage shaped his worldview, including his assumption that nations should come together in a covenant to form a unitary whole like the United States. As a result, Wilson attempted to nurture a democratic state in revolutionary Mexico when rivals Venustiano Carranza and Pancho Villa threatened U.S. interests. His efforts demonstrate the difficulty a leader has in reconciling his personal religious beliefs with his nation’s needs.
Leading Them to the Promised Land adds to the growing body of scholarship in international history that examines the connections between religion and diplomacy. It will appeal to readers interested in the history of U.S. foreign relations and the influence of religion on international politics.
How America left its indelible footprint on the culture and politics of Singapore
In the first decade after World War II, Singapore underwent radical political and socioeconomic changes with the progressive retreat of Great Britain from its Southeast Asian colonial empire. The United States, under the Eisenhower administration, sought to fill the vacuum left by the British retreat and launched into a campaign to shape the emerging Singapore nation-state in accordance with its Cold War policies. Based on a wide array of Chinese- and English-language archival sources from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United States, Safe for Decolonization examines in depth the initiatives—both covert and public—undertaken by the United States in late-colonial Singapore.
Apart from simply analyzing the effect of American activities on the politics of the island, author S. R. Joey Long also examines their impact on the relationship between Great Britain and the United States, and how the Anglo-American nuclear policy toward China and the establishment of a regional security institution (the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) affected the security and decolonization of a strategic British base.
Long sketches a highly detailed and nuanced account of the relations between the United States, Great Britain, and Singapore. He not only describes the often clumsy attempts by covert American operatives to sway top political leaders, infiltrate governments, influence labor unions, and shape elections, but he also shows how Eisenhower’s public initiatives proved to have far-reaching positive results and demonstrates that the Eisenhower administration’s policies toward Singapore, while not always well advised, nonetheless helped to lay the foundation for friendly Singapore–U.S. relations after 1960.
As the first multi-archival work on the U.S. intervention in Singapore, Safe for Decolonization makes an important contribution to the literature on Southeast Asia–U.S. relations. It will be of interest to specialists in decolonization, diplomatic history, modern Southeast Asian history, and the history of the early Cold War.
Addressing America: George Washington’s Farewell and the Making of National Culture, Politics, and Diplomacy, 1796–185206/01/2015
Washington’s Farewell Address and the development of the early republic
In his presidential Farewell Address of 1796, George Washington presented a series of maxims to guide the construction of a wise foreign policy. He believed, as did generations of his adherents, that if the United States stayed true to the principles he discussed, the country would eventually attain national greatness and international respectability. These principles quickly became engrained in the DNA of what it meant to be an American in the first half of the nineteenth century, shaping the formation of U.S. foreign policy, politics, and political culture. The Declaration of Independence affirmed American ideals, the Constitution established American government, and the Farewell Address enabled Americans to understand their country and its place in the world. While the Declaration and Constitution have persisted as foundational documents, our appreciation for the Farewell Address has faded with time.
By focusing on the enduring influence of the Farewell Address on nineteenth-century Americans, and on their abiding devotion to Washington, author Jeffrey Malanson brings the Address back into the spotlight for twenty-first-century readers. When citizens gathered in town halls, city commons, and local churches to commemorate Washington, engagement with the Farewell Address was a cornerstone of their celebrations. This annual rededication to Washington’s principles made the Farewell Address both a framework for the attainment of national happiness and prosperity and a blueprint for national security, and it resulted in its position as the central text through which citizens of the early republic came to understand the connections between the nation’s domestic and foreign ambitions.
Through its focus on the diplomatic, political, and cultural impacts of Washington’s Farewell Address, Addressing America reasserts the fundamental importance of this critical document to the development of the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century.
A provocative reinterpretation of Civil War–era diplomacy
“Phillip E. Myers’s Caution and Cooperation places Anglo-American relations during the Civil War within the broader context of the whole nineteenth century, arguing convincingly for the lack of any real chance of British intervention on the side of the Confederacy and dating the end-of-the-century Anglo-American rapprochement back about three decades. Based on extensive research in the United States and Great Britain, this major reinterpretation of the transatlantic special relationship is ‘international history’ in its truest sense.”
—Mary Ann Heiss, Editor, New Studies in U.S. Foreign Relations Series
It has long been a mainstay in historical literature that the Civil War had a deleterious effect on Anglo-American relations and that Britain came close to intervention in the conflict. Historians assert that it was only a combination of desperate diplomacy, the Confederacy’s military losses, and Lincoln’s timely issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation that kept the British on the sidelines. Phillip E. Myers seeks to revise this prevailing view by arguing instead that wartime relations between Britain and the United States were marked by caution rather than conflict.
Using a wide array of primary materials from both sides of the Atlantic, Myers traces the sources of potential Anglo-American wartime turmoil as well as the various reasons both sides had for avoiding war. And while he does note the disagreement between Washington and London, he convincingly demonstrates that transatlantic discord was ultimately minor and neither side seriously considered war against the other.
Myers further extends his study into the postwar period to see how that bond strengthened and grew, culminating with the Treaty of Washington in 1871. The Civil War was not, as many have believed for so long, an unpleasant interruption in British-American affairs; instead, it was an event that helped bring the two countries closer together to seal the friendship.
Soundly researched and cogently argued, Caution and Cooperation will surely prompt discussion among Civil War historians, foreign relations scholars, and readers of history.
Dissolving Tensions: Rapprochement and Resolution in British- American-Canadian Relations in the Treaty of Washington Era, 1865–191407/01/2015
How the period from 1865 to 1914 defined Anglo-American relations
Dissolving Tensions dismisses the long-held argument that a British-American rapprochement did not occur until the mid-1890s. Instead, author Phillip E. Myers shows that the rapprochement was distinct prior to the Civil War, became more distinctive during the conflict, and continued to take shape afterward.
Myers illustrates clearly that the Treaty of Washington of 1871 was a defining ingredient in resolving British-American-Canadian tensions and sent the rapprochement into a new period of stability and dispute resolution during the three decades before World War I. Drawing upon a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, Myers makes his argument from the perspectives of geopolitics, finance, investments, and commerce, demonstrating that British-American-Canadian relations followed a pragmatic, consistent path in keeping the spirit of the comprehensive Treaty of Washington alive. After 1871, peaceful diplomacy shaped the triangular relationship for nearly five decades.
Myers delineates the contributions of British, American, and Canadian statesmen—among them, William Henry Seward, Lord John Russell, Hamilton Fish, William Ewart Gladstone, and Ulysses S. Grant—to defining and stabilizing the rapprochement against the background of American Reconstruction, global events such as the Franco-Prussian War, and issues such as the Alabamaclaims dispute, fisheries, boundaries, and Fenian insurgents.
Dissolving Tensions lays the groundwork for understanding how the period from 1865 to 1914 was a watershed era in Anglo-American relations that established the contours of twentieth-century diplomacy.
The pre–Cold War motives of American intervention in Greece
Most studies of U.S. relations with Greece focus on the Cold War period, beginning with the enunciation of the Truman Doctrine in 1947. There is little substance in the extant literature about American policy toward or interaction with Greece prior to World War II. This overlooks the important intersections between the two countries and their peoples that predated the Second World War.
U.S. interest in Greece and its people has been long-standing, albeit primarily on an informal or unofficial level. Author Angelo Repousis explores a variety of resonant themes in the field of U.S. foreign relations, including the role of nongovernment individuals and groups in influencing foreign policymaking, the way cultural influences transfer across societies (in this particular case the role of philhellenism), and how public opinion shapes policy—or not.
Repousis chronicles American public attitudes and government policies toward modern Greece from its war for independence (1821–1829) to the Truman Doctrine (1947) when Washington intervened to keep Greece from coming under communist domination. Until then, although the U.S. government was not actively in support of Greek efforts, American philhellenes had supported the attempt to achieve and protect Greek independence. They saw modern Greece as the embodiment of the virtues of its classical counterpart (human dignity, freedom of thought, knowledge, love of beauty and the arts, republicanism, etc.) and worked diligently, albeit not always successfully, to push U.S. policymakers toward greater official interest in and concern for Greece.
Pre–Cold War American intervention in Greek affairs was motivated in part by a perceived association among American and Greek political cultures. Indebted to ancient Greece for their democratic institutions, philhellenes believed they had an obligation to impart the blessings of free and liberal institutions to Greece, a land where those ideals had first been conceived.
Experts analyze NATO’s successes
NATO after Sixty Years addresses the challenges of adaptation confronting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the early twenty-first century. Comprised of essays from a range of experts, each chapter examines an aspect of NATO’s difficult adjustment to the post–Cold War security challenges within and without its treaty-based responsibilities and competencies.
In the book’s introductory chapter, James Sperling establishes the framework and analytical themes to be developed and explored. The first set of essays discusses the changing operational and strategic purposes of the alliance. Sean Kay examines the problem of sustaining the deterrent capability and collective defense function of the alliance, particularly the debate over ballistic missile defense. Mark Webber considers the expanded role of NATO peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and its implications for NATO as a military alliance, while Stanley Kober discusses the negative impact of Afghanistan on alliance solidarity and credibility.
The second section examines the expanded geographical reach and responsibility of the alliance. Melvin Goodman traces the engagement of the alliance with the Russian Federation, and Yannis A. Stivachtis explores NATO’s role in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. Stephen J. Blank covers allied interests in the Black Sea region and the potential liabilities and benefits of an active NATO engagement in that region. Nathan Lucas delivers a skeptical analysis of NATO’s ability and need to claim the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean as strategic areas of operational responsibility.
The final chapters position NATO in the institutional context that will shape its evolution as a security actor in the new geostrategic environment. Lawrence Kaplan establishes the potential role of NATO as an agent for the United Nations. Dennis Sandole focuses on the complementary relationship between the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and NATO. Stanley Sloan investigates NATO’s fraught institutional relationship with the European Union, particularly the emergence of the latter as an increasingly effective security actor. Finally, Jamie Shea reflects on the difficulty of crafting a new strategic concept that would ensure NATO’s continuing viability and credibility as the primary security institution for the nations of the North Atlantic area.
This volume offers the basis for guarded optimism that NATO will persist and continue to perform its twin functions of collective defense and deterrence into the foreseeable future, despite the periodic crises that temporarily cast its future into doubt. An in-depth exploration of research and emerging ideas, NATO after Sixty Years is essential reading for those interested in NATO’s past and present as well as looking to its future.
The Birth of Development: How the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, and World Health Organization Changed the World, 1945–196501/01/2006
A comprehensive examination of economic globalization
Focused on the creation and evolution of post-1945 internationalist ideology, The Birth of Development highlights efforts to diffuse the destructive role of the nation-state in world affairs by constructing truly international organizations with global agendas—the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization. These organizations, and the men and women who worked for them, pioneered the advancement of the quality of life for all and established an ongoing obligation to promote worldwide economic development. As author Amy Staples reveals, the results of their efforts were mixed.
Grounded in archival research conducted in the archives of the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, and World Health Organization, as well as in other archives in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, The Birth of Development provides a foundational understanding for many of today’s debates on economic globalization, especially those that involve the World Bank and World Trade Organization. Given the current role of international peacekeepers and multinational aid agencies, this story is timely and makes clear that the issues that confronted early postwar planners and reformers remain in many ways unsolved even today.
The Birth of Development is the only comparative study of these crucial architects of the theory and practice of economic development, and it contributes significantly to the ongoing effort to view the postwar period as more than simply an East-West Cold War. It breaks new ground conceptually and methodologically and will be a welcome addition to the literature in the fields of modern diplomatic history and international relations.
Seeing Drugs: Modernization, Counterinsurgency, and U.S. Narcotics Control in the Third World, 1969–197601/01/2011
A timely historical analysis of a persistent global problem
Since its declaration in the early 1970s, the American drug war has spanned the globe in a quest to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. Explaining the conceptual framework within which policymakers understood illegal opium production and trafficking, Seeing Drugs examines the genesis of the war on drugs during the Nixon and Ford administrations when the United States developed the policies that set the parameters of subsequent American drug control abroad.
Faced with rising heroin use in the United States and the fear of drug-addicted Vietnam veterans carrying their affliction home and propelled by the belief that heroin addiction spreads like a contagious disease, U.S. officials identified three Third World nations—Thailand, Burma, and Mexico—as the primary sources of illegal narcotics servicing the American drug market. Author Daniel Weimer demonstrates that drug-control officials in these countries confronted a host of interlocking factors shaping the illicit narcotics trade and that, in response to these challenges, policymakers applied modernization and counterinsurgency theory to devise strategies to assist the Thai, Burmese, and Mexican governments in curbing drug trafficking. The Nixon and Ford administrations sincerely believed their policies could rein in the narcotics trade and diminish addiction within the United States. In the end, however, the drug war only guaranteed continued American intervention in the Third World, where the majority of illegal drug crops grew.
Through interdisciplinary and comparative analysis, Seeing Drugsexamines the contours of the burgeoning drug war, the cultural significance of drugs and addiction, and their links to the formation of national identity within the United States, Thailand, Burma, and Mexico. By highlighting the prevalence of modernization and counterinsurgency discourse within drug-control policy, Weimer reveals an unexplored and important facet of the history of U.S–Third World interaction.
“Essential reading for anyone interested in both the history of U.S. drug policy and the process of modernization during the Cold War.” – William O. Walker III, author of Drug Control in the Americas and Opium and Foreign Policy
“Seeing Drugs explores the dramatic effects of post-1945 U.S. modernization and counterinsurgency efforts, joined with Cold War imperatives, on the United States’ war on drugs. The war on drugs was carried by American dollars, social scientists, officials, and technology into the poppy fields of Mexico, Thailand and Burma. Dan Weimer deftly demonstrates the layered ways in which beliefs about drugs as threat and symbol of antimodernism prompted Americans to forcibly transform drug-growing areas, sometimes with support from indigenous elites. His story, based on impressive research and capacious understanding of theory, reveals both the contradictions in the United States’ war on drugs as well as many reasons for its devastating effects. This work joins much of the most exciting new work in U.S. foreign relations, in taking serious interest in the transformative consequences of U.S. foreign policy for other nations. Seeing Drugs joins Al McCoy’s classic Politics of Heroin as a ‘must read’ for understanding the United States’ war on drugs.” - Anne L. Foster, author ofProjections of Power: The United States and Europe in Colonial Southeast Asia, 1919-1941
“Weimer persuasively demonstrates that discourses of modernization and counterinsurgency helped to shape both U.S. counter-narcotics policy abroad and domestic drug policy at home along coercive lines. An important and timely book with much to teach us about the contradictions of the ‘war on drugs’ in Afghanistan, Colombia, and elsewhere.” – Brad Simpson, Princeton University
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