A Nation Like All Others: A Brief History of American Foreign Relations

Warren I. Cohen (Author)

Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
March 17, 2020
5.7 X 8.8 X 0.7 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Warren I. Cohen is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. His Columbia University Press books include East Asian Art and American Culture (1992), East Asia at the Center: Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World (2001), and America's Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations (fifth edition, 2010).


A lively, well-written history of America's foreign policy and diplomacy from 1776 to the present. This is a superb synthesis, in places quite provocative in its arguments, and a signal accomplishment.--George Herring, University of Kentucky
A Nation Like All Others is a book like none other. Warren I. Cohen offers an authoritative but brief overview of American interactions with the wider world from the founding of the nation to our present day. He covers all the major events with acute observations about the sources of policy, compelling judgments of decision makers, and thoughtful ruminations about how things fit together (or not). This is an opinionated survey of American trials and tribulations, delivered as a single narrative with larger-than-life protagonists.--Jeremi Suri, University of Texas at Austin
In this brief and illuminating account of U.S. foreign policy from Benjamin Franklin and the American Revolution to Donald Trump and 'America first, ' Cohen displays the wisdom and insight that have made him one of the country's most admired chroniclers of American diplomacy. Lamenting the nation's loss of its moral compass, Cohen deftly probes the economic, strategic, and domestic political imperatives that make it so difficult to reconcile the exceptionalism he cherishes with the realism he admires.--Melvyn P. Leffler, Edward Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia
Cohen's lucid writing and distinguished scholarship have settled key questions in the history of U.S.-Asian relations, and he does the same here in magnificently relating four hundred years of U.S. relations with the world. Gemlike portrayals of Ben Franklin through McKinley (the 1890s marked 'the point of no return' for Americans) to Obama will attract students and general readers alike.--Walter LaFeber, Cornell University
Cohen's deep scholarship and incisive writing have combined to make him for decades the leading historian of American foreign policy and diplomacy. This book succeeds in taking the reader concisely through the full sweep of America's relations with the rest of the world.--James Mann, scholar-in-residence, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
A fast yet comprehensive read with wide appeal for those interested in how the country has evolved to its present uncomfortable condition--Library Journal "Library Journal (Starred Review) "
These are the kinds of large questions about the modern world and the U.S. place therein that would appeal to general readers and help them see that history may be much more than 'just one damned thing after another.'--Diplomatic History
Written with great clarity, A Nation Like All Others is an important addition to the literature on US diplomacy...Highly recommended.--Choice