Throughout the twentieth century, the U.S. government willingly deployed power, hard and soft, to protect American investments all around the globe. Why did the United States get into the business of defending its citizens’ property rights abroad?
In The Empire Trap, Noel Maurer assesses how modern US involvement in the “empire business” began – that is, how American foreign policy became increasingly tied to the influence, whims and even manipulation of private economic interests, and how postwar administrations eventually extricated the country from economic interventionism. For the main, this is a very good book – cogently argued, detailed, and well-written (if a little dense and tautologous at times). There was, however, one major flaw, which I will touch upon below.