The darker side of the "American Century," recast for younger audiences from the companion to a sobering documentary film (book and film both 2012).
From the hugely profitable Spanish American War to the "gratuitous" bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the co-authors "focus a spotlight on the ways we believe the United States has betrayed its mission and the ideals of its own Constitution." That harsh light moves from the U.S. subjugation of Latin America to the ready support American industrialists gave both the Germans in World War I and the Axis in World War II—casting sidelights on the hypocrisy of Woodrow Wilson and Truman's lack of statesmanship and moral vacuity. The account closes with the thoroughly documented claim that the atomic bombs were dropped more as a message to Stalin than to force Japan into a surrender for which it was already practically begging. Along with giving Russia a more significant role in defeating both Hitler and Japan than standard histories usually grant, the authors also point to other turning points and near misses that are rarely if ever part of standard school curricula. The first of a planned four-volume set, this has a more open page design than the original book for adults and some additional photos.
A natural and notable companion for Joy Hakim’s magisterial but sunnier History of US (2006). (chronology, sources, index) (Nonfiction. 13-16)