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Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

af Niall Ferguson

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,0761213,780 (3.5)7
"Is America an empire? Few Americans would say so. Yet never before in the history of the world has one nation been so far ahead of all others in its military, economic, cultural and political power. In warfare the United States is close to "full spectrum dominance" all over the globe. Its free market model has left the alternatives for dead. Its popular culture, too, has a universal appeal. And its foreign policy now explicitly aims at changing other peoples' regimes and rebuilding their nations. If this isn't an empire, what is it?"."In Colossus, Niall Ferguson ranges across the entire history of America's foreign entanglements, examining all the different dimensions - military, economic, cultural and political - of American power and fusing them into a single coherent vision. Along the way, he confronts the challenges America faces from its principal rivals for hegemony, the European Union and China. Perhaps most important, he offers a compelling and original analysis of the profound interconnection between this country's domestic economic health and its foreign affairs - the bottom line of imperialism, American style." "At once a work of history and contemporary political economy, Niall Ferguson's Colossus is by any measure a major achievement - a peerless reckoning with American power that will need to be read by any thinking citizen of this unspoken empire."--BOOK JACKET.… (mere)
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Having read "Virtual History", a book where Mr. Ferguson served as editor AND contributor, I was looking forward to reading this. But I must admit, it got a bit drudgerous at times.

Now, it is no secret that Ferguson is a staunch conservative, but his digressions, jabs at "Old Europe" and his seeming infatuation (at the time) with the prospects of the Iraq War got a bit tedious at times.
His central tenet in this book seems to be, that America needs to own up to its position, don the purple mantle, and get down to the business of being the military governor pro tem of the underdeveloped world - insinuating that the manpower for such an endeavour could be mustered by introducing a conscription scheme inspired by the ancient Roman one, where convicts and illegal immigrants could achieve social status and citizenship by donning the uniform. Europe, by contrast, is described as a somewhat dysfunctional federation of states where the workers and unions have too much power.

If you take it for what it is - and take its age into account, it's allright. I wasn't blown away, but there were quite a few tidbits of trivia that I did not know before. ( )
  jakadk | Apr 11, 2019 |
Extremely interesting view of America's role and behavior in world history. Ferguson assets that 1) the United States has unconsciously been an empire throughout much of history, 2) The U.S. is not just a 'traditional' empire, as it also focuses on soft/economic power, 3) Both U.S. citizens and foreigners have had mixed feelings towards Empire, 4) The U.S.'s imperialism may yet be a positive in world affairs. Covers a wide range of topics, from the Middle East to economics to the relationships between U.S. and Asian and European and Middle Eastern powers. Bold and incisive book, and one very much worth thinking about. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 29, 2013 |
In Colossus, Ferguson demonstrates that Chimerica, the idea that America can fund its deficit infinitely without severe repercussions, was seriously flawed.
  gmicksmith | Nov 21, 2012 |
My first and last NF read. Written by a conservative Brit in the early after math of Gulf War II I could sense his lust for the ol British Empire. But his re-definition of the word "empire" is done to include the US. A true hegemon but Imperium? He also omits and shades, as all authors, but his leaving out of Iran in benefiting from GW II was an obvious neo-con omission. Full of back handed compliments and some interesting asides.i can see why he's backing Romney. Where's kaplan when you need hi, ( )
  JBreedlove | Sep 28, 2012 |
In general, I would think that this is a pretty good book. The analysis is succinct, however, I do find fault when Niall goes on to defend the US attack on Iraq. I agree that Saddam was no angel, but he was, as far as I know, set up by the US! The biggest problem, again as far as I can see, is that they have often meddled in the affairs of other countries, and in recent times, this has cost them monetarily, as well as in terms of friendship.

The scary part is that I would rather have a world where the US is the dominant country, to a world where China is the dominant country. I really like the Chinese people. It's Chinese politicians that I am scared off.
The US does need to look at it's own economy a little more carefully, to avoid losing it's dominance too fast.

Sadly, I doubt that this will happen. This is something that Niall Ferguson could have covered: what happens if the US fails? ( )
  RajivC | Jan 9, 2012 |
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"Is America an empire? Few Americans would say so. Yet never before in the history of the world has one nation been so far ahead of all others in its military, economic, cultural and political power. In warfare the United States is close to "full spectrum dominance" all over the globe. Its free market model has left the alternatives for dead. Its popular culture, too, has a universal appeal. And its foreign policy now explicitly aims at changing other peoples' regimes and rebuilding their nations. If this isn't an empire, what is it?"."In Colossus, Niall Ferguson ranges across the entire history of America's foreign entanglements, examining all the different dimensions - military, economic, cultural and political - of American power and fusing them into a single coherent vision. Along the way, he confronts the challenges America faces from its principal rivals for hegemony, the European Union and China. Perhaps most important, he offers a compelling and original analysis of the profound interconnection between this country's domestic economic health and its foreign affairs - the bottom line of imperialism, American style." "At once a work of history and contemporary political economy, Niall Ferguson's Colossus is by any measure a major achievement - a peerless reckoning with American power that will need to be read by any thinking citizen of this unspoken empire."--BOOK JACKET.

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