American Empire and the Politics of Meaning. JULIAN GO: Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2008.

Frank Ninkovich


One of the more powerfuljustifications for American imperialism has been the idea of the "civilizingmission" in which liberal democratic values are transferred to pre-modernsocieties. But even if good intentions are granted, the record of culturetransfer has been so poor as to give support to conservative arguments that aforced democratization of culture, as currently being attempted in Iraq, is hopelessfrom the start.

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