Although the twenty-first century may well be the age of globalization, this book demonstrates that America has actually been at the cutting edge of globalization since Columbus landed here five centuries ago.
Lawrence A. Peskin and Edmund F. Wehrle explore America's evolving connections with Europe, Africa, and Asia in the three areas that historically have been indicators of global interaction: trade and industry, diplomacy and war, and the "soft" power of ideas and culture. Framed in four chronological eras that mark phases in the long history of globalization, this book considers the impact of international events and trends on the American story as well as the influence America has exerted on world developments. Peskin and Wehrle discuss how the nature of this influence-whether economic, cultural, or military-fluctuated in each period. They demonstrate how technology and disease enabled Europeans to subjugate the New World, how colonial American products transformed Europe and Africa, and how post-revolutionary American ideas helped foment revolutions in Europe and elsewhere. Next, the authors explore the American rise to global economic and military superpower-and how the accumulated might of the United States alienated many people around the world and bred dissent at home. During the civil rights movement, America borrowed much from the world as it sought to address the crippling "social questions" of the day at the same time that Americans-especially African Americans-offered a global model for change as the country strove to address social, racial, and gender inequality.
Lively and accessible, America and the World draws on the most recent scholarship to provide a historical introduction to one of today's vital and misunderstood issues.
Lawrence A. Peskin is an associate professor of history at Morgan State University and author of Manufacturing Revolution: The Intellectual Origins of Early American Industry and Captives and Countrymen: Barbary Slavery and the American Public, 1785-1816, both also published by Johns Hopkins. Edmund F. Wehrle is an associate professor of history at Eastern Illinois University and author of Between a River and a Mountain: The AFL-CIO and the Vietnam War.