Why America Failed : The Roots of Imperial Decline

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-11-01
  • Publisher: Wiley
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Why America Failed shows how, from its birth as a nation of "hustlers" to its collapse as an empire, the tools of the countrys expansion proved to be the instruments of its demise Why America Failed is the third and most engaging volume of Morris Bermans trilogy on the decline of the American empire. In The Twilight of American Culture, Berman examined the internal factors of that decline, showing that they were identical to those of Rome in its late-empire phase. In Dark Ages America, he explored the external factors-e.g., the fact that both empires were ultimately attacked from the outside-and the relationship between the events of 9/11 and the history of U.S. foreign policy. In his most ambitious work to date, Berman looks at the "why" of it all Probes Americas commitment to economic liberalism and free enterprise stretching back to the late sixteenth century, and shows how this ideology, along with that of technological progress, rendered any alternative marginal to American history Maintains, more than anything else, that this one-sided vision of the countrys purpose finally did our nation in Why America Failed is a controversial work, one that will shock, anger, and transform its readers. The book is a stimulating and provocative explanation of how we managed to wind up in our current situation: economically weak, politically passe, socially divided, and culturally adrift. It is a tour de force, a powerful conclusion to Bermans study of American imperial decline.

Author Biography

Distinguished cultural historian and social critic Morris Berman has spent many years exploring the corrosion of American society and the decline of the American empire. He is the author of the critically acclaimed works The Twilight of American Culture, a New York Times Book Revie w "Notable Book," andDark Ages America.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1. The Pursuit of Affluence 1

2. The Reign of Wall Street 43

3. The Illusion of Progress 71

4. The Rebuke of History 115

5. The Future of the Past 159

Acknowledgments 189

Notes 190

Index 229

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