Published Published Volume XXXV, Nos. 1 & 2, 2022

Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy, by Stephen Wertheim. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2020. 272 pp. $29.95.

How did “American exceptionalism” come to be synonymous with global military supremacy, and an older approach to international affairs with “isolationism”? For a long time, Americans averred that foreign entanglements were the vestiges of an old world passing away, and international combinations reminiscent of the “Holy Alliance.” These scruples arose, however, not from a disdain for the world at large but rather from a drive for moral purity animated by liberal sympathy. While Americans feared Caesaeristic, Napoleonic figures as exterminators of republican liberty, that did not mean they admired, as an alternative, the restored monarchs who held the popular forces of Europe in check…

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