The Contours of American History

William Appleman Williams (Author)


"A very good book indeed.... It is quietly reasoned, beautifully ordered, and spirited as hell.... [It] is not a book for children, nostalgic or otherwise."—Loren Baritz, The Nation

William Appleman Williams was one of America’s greatest critics of US imperialism. The Contours of American History, first published in 1961, reached back to seventeenth-century British history to argue that the relationship between liberalism and empire was in effect a grand compromise, with expansion abroad containing class and race tensions at home. Coming as it did before the political explosions of the 1960s, Williams’s message was a deeply heretical one, and yet the Modern Library ultimately chose Contours as one of the best 100 nonfiction books of the 20th Century.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • February 1989
  • ISBN 978-0-393-30561-6
  • 5 × 8 in / 520 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

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