The origins of the United States’ distinct approach to war and military power are found in the colonial experience. To imagine our future, Giselle Donnelly argues that we must plumb our past. Long before 1776 and 1619, English men and women crossed the Atlantic not to isolate themselves from the Old World but to empower themselves to defend their faith, countrymen, and political liberty while creating new wealth. They inhabited a world of empires and understood that to survive in it—and to hold together the diverse peoples of Britain—they must play the global game.
In Empire Imagined: The Personality of American Power, Giselle Donnelly traces the development of these enduring habits through a series of vignettes that reveal the interaction of a maturing strategic consensus and the contingencies inevitable in international politics and offers a unique perspective for understanding the current debate about America’s role in the world.