Journals Higher Education



Published: 01 October 2020

464 Pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780199393022

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (02)


A History of America's Efforts to Shield Itself from the World

Charles A. Kupchan

  • Examines isolationism across US history, considering previously overlooked but key debates from the nineteenth century
  • Locates isolationism's staying power in the narrative of American exceptionalism, offering a fresh interpretation of the nation's history and identity
  • Refurbishes isolationism's reputation, recognizing that its practice during the 1930s constituted dangerous delusion, but rediscovering the many strategic advantages it afforded the United States during its impressive ascent
  • Mines the nation's past to uncover the ideological and political roots of ongoing changes in US foreign policy, including the sources of Trump's "America First" doctrine
  • Speaks directly to the building debates over key issues: strategic retrenchment, democracy promotion, protectionism, immigration, and the domestic sources of foreign policy
  • Lays out a path for finding a middle ground between isolationism and overreach, between doing too little and doing too much

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