Arc of Empire

America's Wars in Asia from the Philippines to Vietnam
. 978-0-80783-528-9. History
This is a history of four connected wars fought by the United States in eastern Asia between 1899 and 1973. From the Philippines to the Pacific theater of World War II to Korea to Vietnam, Hunt (history, emeritus, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Levine (history, Univ. of Montana) show how these wars were connected and the intricate ways that they influenced U.S. foreign policy as well as Asia's culture and politics. The basic premise of the book is that the United States entered these conflicts to spread an imperial doctrine in Asia and hoped to establish a strong foothold in the region politically and militarily. Although Hunt and Levine argue that the United States was ultimately unsuccessful, they explain that much of the effect of those wars can be seen today in China's increasing surge as a dominant world power. The authors highlight that the United States has a long history of such conflicts and that a similar situation may be happening with the current U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
VERDICT Recommended for readers interested in current events and 20th-century history, especially military history and U.S.-Asia relations.
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