America, Empire of Liberty : A New History, Paperback Book

America, Empire of Liberty : A New History Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


It was Thomas Jefferson who envisioned the United States as a great 'empire of liberty.' In the first new one-volume history in two decades, David Reynolds takes Jefferson's phrase as a key to the saga of America - helping unlock both its grandeur and its paradoxes.

He examines how the anti-empire of 1776 became the greatest superpower the world has seen, how the country that offered liberty and opportunity on a scale unmatched in Europe nevertheless founded its prosperity on the labour of black slaves and the dispossession of the Native Americans.

He explains how these tensions between empire and liberty have often been resolved by faith - both the evangelical Protestantism that has energized U.S. politics since the foundation of the nation and the larger faith in American righteousness that has impelled the country's expansion.

Reynolds' account is driven by a compelling argument which illuminates our contemporary world.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704 pages, 16pp b/w inset
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of the Americas
  • ISBN: 9780141033679

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Excellent piece of writing. I wouldn't have thought you could effectively cover the scope of American history from the Pilgrims to Obama in a single volume, but Reynolds does it with skill, style and elan. Perhaps a few areas get short shrift, the Indian Wars for example, some areas get particular attention, Roosevelt and the New Deal for example, but generally he gives an excellent and interesting coverage of all the major events, plus many more obscure happenings, all the while moving with skill & pace to keep the reader's interest. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to extend their knowledge of American history without sacrificing reading enjoyment.

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