#134 The American Empire w/ Daniel Immerwahr

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Is the United States an empire? US citizens have struggled with this question for a long time. Though our historical narrative traces our origins to the war for independence against the British Empire, we often forget that the US has presided over territories since the very beginning. Today about 4 million people in the territories of American Samoa, the Northern Marinara Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are subject to the US government, yet cannot vote for President and have only symbolic representation in congress. At the same time, the US maintains a global network of about 800 military bases in 80 countries.

How To Hide An Empire  is available on audiobook from libro.fm.  Click here and use promo code  RTN  at checkout  to get this book and two more for just $15!

How To Hide An Empire is available on audiobook from libro.fm. Click here and use promo code RTN at checkout to get this book and two more for just $15!

For these reasons and more, Daniel Immerwahr says the United States is definitely an empire. In this episode, Daniel explains how this happened, the ways that US citizens have debates their country’s role in the world, and how a country born of an anti-imperialist revolution became the thing it professed (and still professes) to despise. He also shares some fascinating stories about how the US military helped make The Beatles, why some people claimed John McCain was not eligible to be President, and how citizens of the United States of America began referring to their country as simply “America.”

Daniel Immerwahr is Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University, and author of the book How To Hide An Empire: A History of the Greater United States (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019). You can follow him on twitter at @dimmerwahr.

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

 

This episode brought to you with support from our friends at  La Cosecha Coffee Roasters.  Go to  lacosechacoffee.com  & enter promo code  RTN10  at checkout for 10% off your next purchase. You can even get  a  Road to Now  coffee/mug combo!

This episode brought to you with support from our friends at La Cosecha Coffee Roasters. Go to lacosechacoffee.com & enter promo code RTN10 at checkout for 10% off your next purchase. You can even get a Road to Now coffee/mug combo!

Road to Now listeners can go to libro.fm & get a 3-month membership for the price of one (3 audiobooks for just $14.95) w/ promo code RTN. Get started by  checking out our libro.fm playlist,  which features books by past RTN guests!

Road to Now listeners can go to libro.fm & get a 3-month membership for the price of one (3 audiobooks for just $14.95) w/ promo code RTN. Get started by checking out our libro.fm playlist, which features books by past RTN guests!

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The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network. Click on the image above to learn more about Osiris and our excellent partner podcasts in the network.