The Spectacle Blog

The Good Times

By on 6.26.08 | 2:14PM

In his review today of Walter Nugent's new book, Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansion, John Steele Gordon praises the first two, strictly historical sections of the book, but then unloads on Nugent over his final section, a postscript on the U.S. in the world since WWII, calling it both "highly tendentious" and "simply...silly." Read on:

To describe globalization as nothing more than American economic imperialism is ludicrous. He might at least have noted that globalization has enormously enriched the entire world, not just the United States....

In short, he buys completely into the visceral anti-Americanism, seeing American self-aggrandizing imperialism everywhere while scarcely noting that the free world was engaged in a decades-long, worldwide struggle against a ruthless tyranny.

In all, "Habits of Empire" is an excellent book as long as one ignores the historical claptrap of the postscript, which is an embarrassment to the author and publisher and an insult to the reader.

What is noteworthy is that these sentiments are being expressed not in the Washington Times, but in the New York Times.

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