The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (Paperback)

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“A brilliant book on foreign affairs.”—Adolf A. Berle Jr., New York Times Book Review


This incisive interpretation of American foreign policy ranks as a classic in American thought. First published in 1959, the book offered an analysis of the wellsprings of American foreign policy that shed light on the tensions of the Cold War and the deeper impulses leading to the American intervention in Vietnam. William Appleman Williams brilliantly explores the ways in which ideology and political economy intertwined over time to propel American expansion and empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The powerful relevance of Williams’s interpretation to world politics has only been strengthened by recent events in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. Williams allows us to see that the interests and beliefs that once sent American troops into Texas and California, or Latin America and East Asia, also propelled American forces into Iraq.

About the Author


A former president of the Organization of American Historians, William Appleman Williams taught for many years at the University of Wisconsin and Oregon State University. His books include The Contours of American History, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, and Empire as a Way of Life.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of international relations and history at Boston University.

Lloyd C. Gardner is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780393334746
ISBN-10: 0393334740
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 6th, 2009
Pages: 384
Language: English