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America, Empire of Liberty: A New History by [Reynolds, David]
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America, Empire of Liberty: A New History Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 688 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Review

Reynolds's presentation combines enthusiasm with authority, and his insightful and far-ranging text is augmented by a wealth of archive voices, from speeches to people in the street -- The Oldie, November 2009

Reynolds's vigorous presentation of his sweep of American history, and the interwoven voices and news reports of the time, make for striking immediacy -- Observer, August 30, 2009

Review

the most outstanding popular history of America written by a non-American ... Reynolds tells the ups and downs of this great narrative with tremendous verve and imagination

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4581 KB
  • Print Length: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 Jan. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9LIA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #49,721 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Despite being billed as the best one-volume history of the United States in recent times, "America: Empire of Liberty" is a remarkably uneven book. Reynolds starts off well with a reminder of pre-1492 Native Americans achievements and a caustic look at the Columbus myth. The standard remains pretty high right on through his coverage of the colonial period, the war of liberation, the contradictions and correspondences between slavery and liberty, and on right up until the civil war. Up till that point it is a readable, succinct account of the United States history.

Then things start to level off, Reconstruction isn't dealt with particularly well in my opinion, but perhaps I was spoiled by recently reading Eric Foners masterpiece Reconstruction. On to the Spanish-American War; Reynolds rightly acknowledges it was a war with the Spanish then the Cubans and Filipinos, though he seems to portray the conflict in the Philippines as one between equivalents ("atrocities mounted on both sides") despite acknowledging in the text that while 4,000 US troops died the death toll for Filipinos was around a quarter of a million.

On to the twentieth century: Reynolds exhibits satisfaction that the United States was never sullied by a large socialist party, but plays down the level of repression focused on the generality of leftists in America that peaked during the Red Scare after WW1 and reached a crescendo post WW2 with McCarthyism (so-called: in reality it went far deeper than Joseph McCarthy, see Ellen Schreckers The Age of McCarthyism).
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Format: Hardcover
David Reynolds has written a fantastic book that is both comprehensive in its coverage and intimate in its biographical details of the major players and defining events in American history. It provides an extraordinatry insight into the dynamics that have shaped America from the dichotomy of an anti-empire founded on the 'will to be free' that offered liberty and freedom on a scale unmatched by Europe, that founded its prosperity on the labour of black slaves, to the debates that shape modern America, as it does what it has always done - defining its identity as its perpetual struggle against all enemies foreign and domestic, real or imagined.

This is a well-written, thoroughly enjoyable book that provides a new insight into the world's self-styled only super-power. If you don't believe me check out the Radio 4 series Reynolds has done based on this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had hear excerpts from David Reynold's "Empire of Liberty" read on BBC Radio 4 - who serialised this book. I had encountered David Reynolds on BBC TV - for example his excellent series on world summit meetings.
I have always been interested in the history of the USA too but mainly through watching TV documentaries. In about 600 pages - David takes you through the last 400 or so years of american history at quite a pace. Key characters are fleshed out well. He has an eye for a telling quotation from those there at the time. Though quite a long book the pace is quick - the second world war only lasted less that 4 years for the USA so in a few pages we are into the cold war. Some may not like the considerable space devoted to social history as against political or economic history - but that comes down to personal interests of the reader. But no this is the Bizz!
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Format: Hardcover
David Reynolds History of America is a timely book that takes us from the Founding Fathers right up too Barrack Obama's victory. The book explores this history through the contradictions and complexities of American ideas of Liberty - Empire and Faith , thus creating a fresh perspective to a subject that has been well covered. Reynolds, a professor of American history for over thirty years, displays a masterful control over the wealth of materials and information that his exhaustive research has produced - conveying the facts with such erudtion and style, I found the book hard to put down.
Viewing the history through the prism of Empire - Liberty and Faith, we see a country that has stuggled with these contradictions and wrestled with it's conscience - mainly in regard to slavery, human rights issues and foreign policy - though it has in the main endeavoured to the right thing, with varying degrees of success. In the end we are left with a picture of an Empire staring over the precipice - two costly wars and an economy reeling from the Sub-Prime mortgage disaster has left America in a very vulnerable position, and left a population wary of the future. Reynold's New History is compelling told with a story tellers skill and an historians eye for detail. Superb.History of the American PeopleMade in AmericaThe Right Nation: Why America is Different
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