The Tragedy Of U.s. Foreign Policy: How America?s Civil Religion Betrayed The National Interest

Hardcover | November 22, 2016

byWalter A. McDougall

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A fierce critique of civil religion as the taproot of America’s bid for global hegemony

Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Walter A. McDougall argues powerfully that a pervasive but radically changing faith that “God is on our side” has inspired U.S. foreign policy ever since 1776. The first comprehensive study of the role played by civil religion in U.S. foreign relations over the entire course of the country’s history, McDougall’s book explores the deeply infused religious rhetoric that has sustained and driven an otherwise secular republic through peace, war, and global interventions for more than two hundred years. From the Founding Fathers and the crusade for independence to the Monroe Doctrine, through World Wars I and II and the decades-long Cold War campaign against “godless Communism,” this coruscating polemic reveals the unacknowledged but freely exercised dogmas of civil religion that bind together a “God blessed” America, sustaining the nation in its pursuit of an ever elusive global destiny.

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From the Publisher

A fierce critique of civil religion as the taproot of America’s bid for global hegemony Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Walter A. McDougall argues powerfully that a pervasive but radically changing faith that “God is on our side” has inspired U.S. foreign policy ever since 1776. The first comprehensive study of the role played by civi...

Walter A. McDougall is professor of history and the Alloy-Ansin Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. His numerous books include the 1985 Pulitzer Prize winner The Heavens and the Earth. He lives in Bryn Mawr, PA.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:424 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 1.13 inPublished:November 22, 2016Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300211457

ISBN - 13:9780300211450

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"One of this disturbing book’s many strengths is its reminder of a United States before it entered the world’s stage. . . . Whether American presidents could conduct foreign relations better without the hype of civil religion Mr. McDougall does not say. But he suggests that the national interest might be a better guide to America’s conduct in the world."—D.G. Hart, Wall Street Journal