How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States

How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States Review

A pathbreaking history of the United States' overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empire

We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an "empire," exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories--the islands, atolls, and archipelagos--this country has governed and inhabited?

In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century's most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress.

In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of space. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.

Title:How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Mehrsa

    Excellent. A must read. Seriously, go read it right now. I grew up in the shadow of the US empire so I've always understood that the US was an empire, but it did occur to me at some point after I immi...

  • Devyn

    I received this book from Goodreads."In the end, this book's main contribution is not archival, bringing to light some never-before-seen document. It's perspectival, seeing a familiar history differen...

  • William Harris

    I recently had the privilege of receiving an advanced copy of "How to Hide an Empire," by Daniel Immerwahr (courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux). I am pleased to report that this book is one of the ...

  • Carin

    Before the hurricane hit it last year, did you know Puerto Rico was a part of the United States? How many other US territories can you name? Just one or two? The US Virgin Islands are fairly easy beca...

  • Xavier Shay

    Best history book I've read? Fast paced, interesting, about a topic I don't know much about. Excellent....

  • Trashy Dreams

    Thorough and great in concept, but dryer than I was hoping for. Plus I couldn't really get into any kind of narrative groove. The info and time frames jumped all over the place. ...

  • Deb

    Extremely eye-opening information! We are so convinced that the US is the greatest country when in reality we are just good at hiding our Empire! I very much enjoyed having my perspective widened, by ...

  • LeAnn

    Pros: Fascinating, love how the author would always connect things to the present, super informative, doesn't try to sugar coat history or always show the government in a positive light, written like ...

  • Chris Roberts

    The American Indian always, only, lays claim to this land.A racial wasteland exists, within the oddly delineated borders, of a country known as America, marginalized citizens call out for freedom and ...

  • Jeff

    I won this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. This is the first thing I've read by the author. I'll start by saying I was never good at history in high school or college, i just never enjoyed it. Having sai...