William Appleman Williams, who died in 1990, was arguably the most influential and controversial historian of his generation. His revisionist writings, especially in American diplomatic history, forced historians and others to abandon old cliches and confront disturbing questions about America's behavior in the world. Williams defined America's social, moral, constitutional, and economic development in uncompromising, iconoclastic, and original terms. He saw history as "a way of learning;" and applied the principle brilliantly in books and essays which have altered our vision of the American past and present. In this rich collection, Henry Berger has drawn from Williams's most important writings-including "The Tragedy of American Diplomacy," "The Contours of American History," and "The Roots of the Modern American Empire" to present his key arguments. There are twenty-one selections in all, from books, essays, and articles, including two never before published. Mr. Berger has added notes to the selections and an enlightening introduction which explores Williams's career and ideas. This is an exceptionally valuable book.
Henry W. Berger, a former student of William Appleman Williams, is now associate professor of history at Washington University, St. Louis. He has written widely on the history of American foreign relations.
Part 1 Acknowledgements 7 Part 2 Introduction 11 Part 3 The Birth of Containment 37 Part 4 A Second Look at Mr. X 68 Part 5 The Legend of Isolationism in the 1920's 75 Part 6 The Frontier Thesis and American Foreign Policy 89 Part 7 Charles Austin Beard: The Intellectual as Tory-Radical 105 Part 8 Imperial Anticolonialism 116 Part 9 The Nightmare of Depression and the Vision of Omnipotence 133 Part 10 The Wisdom of an Open Door for Revolutions 156 Part 11 The Age of Mercantilism, 1740-1828 162 Part 12 The Age of Laissez Nous Faire, 1819-1896 221 Part 13 The Age of Corporation Capitalism, 1882- 239 Part 14 The Central Utility of Marx 267 Part 15 A Survey of the Territory 276 Part 16 What This Country Needs... 324 Part 17 Confessions of an Intransigent Revisionist 336 Part 18 Let Us Make Our Own Future with the Help of the Past 345 Part 19 The Empire at Bay 360 Part 20 Thoughts on the Comparative Uses of Power 376 Part 21 The Annapolis Crowd 385 Part 22 Afterword 393 Part 23 Bibliography 399 Part 24 Index 405
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