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Outside in: the transnational circuitry of US history

Andrew Preston and Doug Rossinow (Oxford University Press, 2017)


The essays in Outside In show how Americans lived within transnational circuits featuring impacts and influences running in multiple directions. While the field of international history generally emphasizes the impact of the United States on the rest of the world during the period of US ascendancy and while some scholars today stress how America has been shaped by external forces, the work assembled here rises above such disputes by showing the immense complexity of transnational currents that both shaped the United States and of which the United States was an inextricably, often central part. Here, the agents of globalization appear very concrete, not at all the disembodied, irresistible forces of some conventional narratives. Outside In also transcends the divide between work focusing on the international system of nation-states and transnational history that treats nonstate actors exclusively. The authors range very widely in topic from international economic management and international statecraft to missionary activity and global antiwar dissent, from intellectuals discussing womens rights and working for a minimum wage across borders to right-wing counterinsurgency operatives, from oil tycoons and worldwide evangelists to neoliberal ideologues and officeholders. Religion, diplomacy, economics, and warfare all have their places here, as do people ranging across the entire political spectrum, from left to right. These essays point to the best and most current research directions in the transnationalization of US history.

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