The True Flag by Stephen Kinzer
Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

Kinzer ably conveys the passion and ferment of this brief period, situating this grand debate in the context of U.S. foreign policy history and convincingly arguing that the imperial/anti-imperial dichotomy remains a dominant feature of the American psyche.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

The bestselling author of Overthrow and The Brothers brings to life the forgotten political debate that set America’s interventionist course in the world for the twentieth century and beyond.

How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat―until the cycle begins again.

No matter how often we debate this question, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country.

Revealing a piece of forgotten history, Stephen Kinzer transports us to the dawn of the twentieth century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation.

The country’s best-known political and intellectual leaders took sides. Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst pushed for imperial expansion; Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie preached restraint. Only once before―in the period when the United States was founded―have so many brilliant Americans so eloquently debated a question so fraught with meaning for all humanity.

All Americans, regardless of political perspective, can take inspiration from the titans who faced off in this epic confrontation. Their words are amazingly current. Every argument over America’s role in the world grows from this one. It all starts here.

 

About Stephen Kinzer

See more books from this Author
Stephen Kinzer is the author of Reset, Overthrow, All the Shah's Men, and numerous other books. An award-winning foreign correspondent, he served as the New York Times's bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua and as the Boston Globe's Latin America correspondent. He teaches international relations at Brown University, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and a columnist for The Guardian. He lives in Boston.
 
Published January 24, 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.. 320 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The True Flag
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Oct 11 2016

In the last chapter, Kinzer astutely brings the debate from the turn of the century to the present. A tremendously elucidating book that should be required reading for civics courses.

Read Full Review of The True Flag: Theodore Roose... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 23 2017

Kinzer ably conveys the passion and ferment of this brief period, situating this grand debate in the context of U.S. foreign policy history and convincingly arguing that the imperial/anti-imperial dichotomy remains a dominant feature of the American psyche.

Read Full Review of The True Flag: Theodore Roose... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by MICHAEL LIND on Jan 27 2017

Kinzer omits any discussion of the turn-of-the-century rivalries between the United States and other great powers, in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific. He does not even mention one of the most famous incidents of the war in the Philippines...

Read Full Review of The True Flag: Theodore Roose... | See more reviews from NY Times

Reader Rating for The True Flag
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 6 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×