Jackson Lears is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers and Editor in Chief of Raritan. He is the author of Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877–1920, among other books. (December 2017)
Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919
by Mike Wallace
The apparently hedonistic culture that emerged before World War I was a muddle of flagrant gestures toward personal liberation and subtle new forms of social coercion. Early-twentieth-century American society was on the verge of a reshuffling of values and power relations in which the rich would come out just fine. And New York City was where that new synthesis would be worked out, in all its messy and contradictory details.
The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire
by Stephen Kinzer
For decades, anti-imperial thought has been largely absent from public discourse. So has the word “imperialism.” The chief substitute for it has been “internationalism.” The rhetorical shift from imperialism to internationalism suggests a sanitizing process at work during the twentieth century, as the United States moved away from a formal empire based on the occupation of foreign territory to an informal empire based on proxy governments backed by occasional US invasions.