Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wild wild west

I heard Hampton Sides on NPR talking about his new book. The subject, the coming of the Americans into Navajo country, isn't normally a favorite, but I do love Sides. After listening to the story, I think this one is moving from the library borrow list to the buy list.

The topic in general made me think of the idea of America as an isolationist country. While this idea still exists, the tide seems to have turned to the idea that the US has never been isolationist, but has been both revolutionary and expansionist. There is a strain in American policy which has sought to avoid interaction with Europe, but that doesn't mean the United States was ever truly isolationist. Just ask the Native Americans or Mexicans. One of the latest to re-examine American history is Robert Kagan. The neocon author has just released Dangerous Nation, which is his provocative title for his new history of the United States until 1900 (or so.) I think similar arguments were made in Dominion of War.

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