By Neil Smith
An American Empire, built over the past century, in the past overtook eu colonialism, and it's been broadly assumed that the hot globalism it espoused took us "beyond geography." Neil Smith debunks that assumption, supplying an incisive argument that American globalism had a unique geography and used to be pieced jointly as a part of a strong geographical imaginative and prescient. the ability of geography didn't die with the twilight of ecu colonialism, however it did swap 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 booklet presents a necessary geographical-historical context for figuring out the ability and bounds of up to date globalization, that may now be noticeable as representing the 3rd of 3 detailed historic moments of U.S. worldwide 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 nation energy, operating to deliver an American order to the worldwide panorama. An explorer at the well-known Machu Picchu excursion of 1911 who got here to be identified first as "Woodrow Wilson's geographer," and later as Frankin D. Roosevelt's, Bowman used to be current on the construction of U.S. liberal overseas coverage. A quarter-century later, Bowman was once on the middle of Roosevelt's kingdom division, desirous about the disposition of Germany and heightened U.S. entry to ecu colonies; he used to be defined by means of Dean Acheson as a key "architect of the United Nations." In that interval he was once a pacesetter in American technological know-how, served as president of Johns Hopkins collage, and have become an early and vociferous chilly warrior. a sophisticated, contradictory, and now and then arguable determine who used to be greatly within the public eye, he seemed at the disguise of Time journal. Bowman's occupation as a geographer in an period while 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 yankee Empire. Smith's historic excavation unearths, in huge strokes but with vigorous element, that ultra-modern American-inspired globalization springs no longer from the Nineteen Eighties yet from prior moments in 1919 and 1945, either one of which resulted in failure. by way of recharting the geography of this historical past, Smith brings the politics--and the limits--of modern globalization sharply into concentration.
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Extra resources for American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization
S. globalism, its trajectory, and its politics. S. diplomatic 8 / lost geography of the american century and foreign relations histories exemplify this shortcoming. S. global history. S. S. power in the name of liberal ideals and political democracy. “Realists,” on the other hand, were more inclined to emphasize naked power and national self-interest as the salient forces in global change, seeing the world as a chessboard of strategic national actions. If the idealist position is explicitly nongeographical, the realist position engages only the most trivial sense of geographical space.
The failures of the second moment of the American Century were swept away as if by a magic wand, and so too were the failures and frustrations of the ﬁrst moment, not just in Paris and Washington, but also and most crucially in the Russian Revolution of 1917. “Globalization” therefore represents a third attempt at Wilson’s new world order. The global universality of capital seems again within reach; the end of history as well as of geography, centrally on the agenda. The language of globalization refers to real processes in the worldwide fabrication and circulation of commodities and cultures, information and ideas, but the value of the term “globalization” lies just as much in its ideological power.
Hatched from the rariﬁed personal experiences of a small coterie of ﬁnancial executives, traders, and cybersleuths and nurtured by a more widespread revolution in electrical, computer, and televisual communications, this assumption of a borderless world is quite literally utopian in the sense that it assumes or anticipates a spaceless world, and it has migrated well beyond the borders of its own signiﬁcance. It has more progressive variants, as in Manuel Castells’s powerful claim that the world now comprises a space of ﬂows, a network society, rather than a space of places.