In this completely revised and updated edition of America and
the Americas, Lester D. Langley covers the long period from the
colonial era into the twenty-first century, providing an
interpretive introduction to the history of U.S. relations with
Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. Langley draws on the
other books in the series to provide a more richly detailed and
informed account of the role and place of the United States in the
hemisphere. In the process, he explains how the United States, in
appropriating the values and symbolism identified with "America,"
has attained a special place in the minds and estimation of other
Discussing the formal structures and diplomatic postures
underlying U.S. policy making, Langley examines the political,
economic, and cultural currents that often have frustrated
inter-American progress and accord. Most important, the greater
attention given to U.S. relations with Canada in this edition
provides a broader and deeper understanding of the often
controversial role of the nation in the hemisphere and,
particularly, in North America.
Commencing with the French-British struggle for supremacy in North
America in the French and Indian War, Langley frames the story of
the American experience in the Western Hemisphere through four
distinct eras. In the first era, from the 1760s to the 1860s, the
fundamental character of U.S. policy in the hemisphere and American
values about other nations and peoples of the Americas took form.
In the second era, from the 1870s to the 1930s, the United States
fashioned a continental and then a Caribbean empire. From the
mid-1930s to the early 1960s, the paramount issues of the
inter-American experience related to the global crisis. In the
final part of the book, Langley details the efforts of the United
States to carry out its political and economic agenda in the
hemisphere from the early 1960s to the onset of the twenty-first
century, only to be frustrated by governments determined to follow
an independent course. Over more than 250 years of encounter,
however, the peoples of the Americas have created human bonds and
cultural exchanges that stand in sharp contrast to the formal and
often conflictive hemisphere crafted by governments.
Subjects: History, Political Science
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