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By Neil Smith

An American Empire, built during the last century, some time past overtook eu colonialism, and it's been generally assumed that the recent globalism it espoused took us "beyond geography." Neil Smith debunks that assumption, providing an incisive argument that American globalism had a unique geography and used to be pieced jointly as a part of a strong geographical imaginative and prescient. the facility of geography didn't die with the twilight of ecu colonialism, however it did swap essentially. That the inauguration of the yank Century introduced a lack of public geographical sensibility within the usa used to be itself a political symptom of the rising empire. This e-book presents an essential geographical-historical context for figuring out the ability and bounds of latest globalization, which could now be noticeable as representing the 3rd of 3 targeted old moments of U.S. international ambition.The tale unfolds via a decisive account of the profession of Isaiah Bowman (1878-1950), the main well-known American geographer of the 20 th century. for almost 4 a long time Bowman operated round the vortex of kingdom strength, operating to convey an American order to the worldwide panorama. An explorer at the recognized 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 production of U.S. liberal international coverage. A quarter-century later, Bowman was once on the heart of Roosevelt's nation division, inquisitive about the disposition of Germany and heightened U.S. entry to ecu colonies; he used to be defined by means of Dean Acheson as a key "architect of the United Nations." In that interval he was once a pacesetter in American technological know-how, served as president of Johns Hopkins college, and have become an early and vociferous chilly warrior. a sophisticated, contradictory, and now and then arguable determine who was once a great deal within the public eye, he seemed at the conceal of Time journal. Bowman's occupation as a geographer in an period whilst the price of geography was once deeply puzzled presents a different window into the contradictory makes use of of geographical wisdom within the development of the yankee Empire. Smith's historic excavation unearths, in huge strokes but with full of life aspect, that state-of-the-art American-inspired globalization springs now not from the Eighties yet from past moments in 1919 and 1945, either one of which resulted in failure. by way of recharting the geography of this background, Smith brings the politics--and the limits--of modern globalization sharply into concentration.

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Extra resources for American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization

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2 In fact, its origins in traditional colonial conquest notwithstanding, the globalism that has captured economic strategies and world visions today, and simultaneously come under fervent attack, represents a long-term strategic rebuttal of European colonialism and anticolonial movements alike. Simultaneously a precursor and a successor to Soviet socialism, American globalism also supersedes the two-hundred-year-old nexus of world power connecting European states and their colonies. S. power in the first half of the twentieth century authored an indispensable prelude to post-1980s globalization and laid out an early blueprint for today’s global ambition.

In the second place, the wartime Roosevelt administration was anything but ignorant of geography. A councillor of the American Geographical Society prior to his presidency and ex–assistant secretary of the navy, Roosevelt relished the study of geography, and during World War II he famously encouraged Americans to get out their family atlases and follow along as he updated the military action. 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.

Partly as a result of efforts to resolve this contradiction in the process of managing capital accumulation, the twentieth century came to be marked by the systematic pursuit of geographically uneven development in a way that was wholly new. Although previous differences in levels and conditions of development obviously existed, they were less than systematic: for myriad reasons, economic development occurred in one place rather than another. Development in one place was not necessarily connected to development or lack of development somewhere else, even if such connections often obtained.

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