By Neil Smith
An American Empire, developed over the past century, some time past overtook eu colonialism, and it's been extensively assumed that the recent globalism it espoused took us "beyond geography." Neil Smith debunks that assumption, supplying an incisive argument that American globalism had a different geography and was once pieced jointly as a part of a robust geographical imaginative and prescient. the facility of geography didn't die with the twilight of ecu colonialism, however it did switch 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 offers an essential geographical-historical context for realizing the facility and bounds of up to date globalization, which could now be obvious as representing the 3rd of 3 exact old moments of U.S. international ambition.The tale unfolds via a decisive account of the occupation of Isaiah Bowman (1878-1950), the main recognized American geographer of the 20 th century. for almost 4 a long time Bowman operated round the vortex of kingdom strength, operating to carry an American order to the worldwide panorama. An explorer at the well-known Machu Picchu day trip of 1911 who got here to be identified first as "Woodrow Wilson's geographer," and later as Frankin D. Roosevelt's, Bowman was once current on the construction of U.S. liberal international coverage. A quarter-century later, Bowman used to be on the heart of Roosevelt's country division, taken with the disposition of Germany and heightened U.S. entry to ecu colonies; he used to be defined through Dean Acheson as a key "architect of the United Nations." In that interval he was once a pace-setter in American technological know-how, served as president of Johns Hopkins college, and have become an early and vociferous chilly warrior. a classy, contradictory, and from time to time arguable determine who used to be greatly within the public eye, he seemed at the hide of Time journal. Bowman's profession as a geographer in an period whilst the price of geography used to be deeply puzzled presents a distinct window into the contradictory makes use of of geographical wisdom within the development of the yank Empire. Smith's historic excavation unearths, in vast strokes but with energetic element, that brand new American-inspired globalization springs now not from the Eighties yet from past moments in 1919 and 1945, either one of which led to 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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Additional resources for American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization
In a related fund-raising gambit, North presented slide shows to horriﬁed upper-class matrons, designed to convince them that Nicaragua was a deadly threat to American democracy. His opening slide was a map: A foreshortened United States bled off the top edge of the screen while a large, dark Nicaragua loomed from the map’s base into the Gulf of Mexico, menacing the Texas coast. The United States was overprinted with a paternal bald eagle while Nicaragua was emblazoned with a large red hammer and sickle.
26 Returning to Mackinder, we see that the “geographical pivot” argument is certainly laden with predictable historical determinisms about geography in social and political affairs, reaching back to Rome and classical Greece. Among geographers, this 1904 article is typically identiﬁed as the ﬁrst intimation of his famous heartland thesis, which helped form emerging twentieth-century political geography and geopolitics as a discourse of land power rather than sea power. Accordingly, Mackinder’s argument is thoroughly steeped in a traditional absolute conception of space.
16 Further, just as in astronomy, the addition of geographical parallax does not simply add a missing dimension or introduce a new “factor” in an already received history; it displaces the object of study and thereby transforms it. ” Reconceiving the geography inherent in the history but hidden in the historical narrative irrevocably transforms the history itself. Let me offer some broad strokes of this argument via an examination of the contradictory geographies of each of the three moments American imperial assertion.
American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization by Neil Smith