Praised in the New York Times Book Review for its "Herculean power of synthesis," George C. Herring's 2008 From Colony to Superpower has won wide acclaim from critics and readers alike. Years of Peril and Ambition: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1776-1921 is the first volume of a new split paperback edition of that masterwork, making this award-winning title accessible to those with a particular interest in the first half of the United States' history.
This first volume of Herring's international narrative charts the rise of the United States from a loose grouping of British colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast of North America into an emerging world power at the end of World War I. It tells an epic story of restless settlers pushing against weak restraints; of explorers, sea captains, adventurers, merchants, and missionaries carrying American ways to new lands. It analyzes countless crises, some resulting in war and others resolved peacefully. Above all, it is the tale of United States' expansion, commercial and political, across the North American continent, into the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean regions, and, economically, worldwide. Herring brings this first segment of America's dramatic emergence as a superpower to a close with the United States' post-World War I rise to the status of the world's most powerful nation, poised -- however unsteadily --for global engagement in what would be called the American Century.
Years of Peril and Ambition highlights the ongoing impact of the nation's international affairs on the household names of U.S. history but also on ordinary citizens. Featuring a grand cast of characters, encompassing statesmen and presidents, diplomats and foreigners, and rogues and rascals alike, this fast-paced account illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation.