How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr

How to Hide an Empire

A pathbreaking history of the United States' overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empireWe are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an "empire," exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories--the islands, atolls, and archipelagos--this country has governed and inhabited?In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinati...

Details How to Hide an Empire

TitleHow to Hide an Empire
Release DateFeb 19th, 2019
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Politics, North American Hi..., American History, Literature, American

Reviews How to Hide an Empire

  • Mehrsa
    Excellent. A must read. Seriously, go read it right now. I grew up in the shadow of the US empire so I've always understood that the US was an empire, but it did occur to me at some point after I immigrated that no one here saw it that way. On the middle east, the story was that Middle Easterners just didn't understand or want democracy. The truth is that the empires (British, Russian and then US) kept taking out our elected leaders because they ...
  • Devyn
    I received this book from Goodreads."In the end, this book's main contribution is not archival, bringing to light some never-before-seen document. It's perspectival, seeing a familiar history differently." page 16 A brilliant book!How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States is a must read for anyone interested in obscure American history and the revolutionary switch from annexing territory for resources, to divesting large colon...
  • William Harris
    I recently had the privilege of receiving an advanced copy of "How to Hide an Empire," by Daniel Immerwahr (courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux). I am pleased to report that this book is one of the finest recent analysis of imperialism (in its modern, evolved, guise). What is more, this formidable task is accomplished in a very accessible and well documented manner. Fundamentally, it is a text which assesses the new American and Global Empire, ...
  • Carin
    Before the hurricane hit it last year, did you know Puerto Rico was a part of the United States? How many other US territories can you name? Just one or two? The US Virgin Islands are fairly easy because they have "The US" in the name. And Guam is often listed with them so you might get that too. But there have been hundreds of others. Does that surprise you?We try to pretend that the US is unique among superpowers in that we never had colonies. ...
  • Ted Morgan
    Heartbreaking and undeniable, this work by Daniel Immerwahr reveals the not well hidden work of the United States of America to inflict racist, brutal, selfish exploitation over the planet. We have pretended to be benevolent. We are not. We never were. We are resented and hated where we have dominated and used other nations for our whim, economic exploitation, and control generally through our hegemony but often just directly when we have wanted ...
  • Max
    Starts off stronger than it ends; the more abstract the empire gets, the less revelatory it is. But at least half of this book has some stunning thing on every page that we all should have learned in middle school.
  • Anne
    I received How to Hide an Empire as part of a giveaway program. In a nutshell, the author has gone above and beyond to show that the United States is more than the 50 states. The book covers history behind why presidents started acquiring land and why they keep it. With the advent of beginning with radio, satellites, and GPS land has meant less as a way of accruing population but more in housing military installations.
  • Adora Svitak
    An incredible indictment of our historical (and present-day) practice of extracting wealth and strategic benefit from holding colonies (then, "territories," and military bases) while denying basic rights to the inhabitants of those places. It's a lot of history you don't learn in school, to our collective loss! In a chapter on the US's strategy of seeking out "relatively small, lightly populated islands" for airstrips and nuclear testing (oftenti...
  • Evan
    The first half: this is the book I've been looking for for years, outlining the origins of US global hegemony in the "frontier thesis" and the Spanish-American war. Chapters dealing with the parallel historical developments in the Philippines and Puerto Rico are particularly interesting, though I was hoping for more about the "unofficial" colonies such as the puppet regime in republican-era Cuba, or the International Settlement in Shanghai. Nonet...
  • Xavier Shay
    Best history book I've read? Fast paced, interesting, about a topic I don't know much about. Excellent.
  • Trashy Dreams
    Thorough and great in concept, but dryer than I was hoping for. Plus I couldn't really get into any kind of narrative groove. The info and time frames jumped all over the place.
  • Deb
    Extremely eye-opening information! We are so convinced that the US is the greatest country when in reality we are just good at hiding our Empire! I very much enjoyed having my perspective widened, by this author!
  • LeAnn
    Pros: Fascinating, love how the author would always connect things to the present, super informative, doesn't try to sugar coat history or always show the government in a positive light, written like a story more than just facts and figures.Cons: Not the biggest fan of the cover and a lot of the pictures inside the book were hard to see/read - they were either too grainy or faded looking.Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There's several people...
  • Chris Roberts
    The American Indian always, only, lays claim to this land.A racial wasteland exists, within the oddly delineated borders, of a country known as America, marginalized citizens call out for freedom and have the last ounce of hope beaten out of them. #poem #USAChris Roberts, Patron Saint of the Whooping Crane
  • Jeff
    I won this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. This is the first thing I've read by the author. I'll start by saying I was never good at history in high school or college, i just never enjoyed it. Having said that, i think i would have remembered at least some of the things in this book of they had been taught in any of those classes. If school books were writen in a style as easy to read as this book I may have paid more attention.
  • Rita
    REVIEW ON MY BLOG ( ON SUN, MAR 10, 2019🌞 Fast-paced, fast-paced, fast-pacedIt's not often that history books are fast-paced, but this one was written with such engaging language and with so many amazing rhetorical elements that reading it felt like reading about an adventure.As the author took me on a trip to Southeast Asia, to the Caribbeans, and to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I couldn't help but be glued...
  • E. C. Koch
    Within my lifetime I've heard America's history, and its anticipated fate, compared frequently to that of the Romans. Both noble republics. Both took to electing maniacs. Both undone by their excesses. Both empires. And while the parallels between them are myriad, it's this last one that seems to stick in the collective craw, because America, you see, is not an empire. Or so we're made to understand. And the means through which we're made to unde...
  • Jessica
    "The history of America is the history of empire." "In the end, this book's main contribution is not's perspectival, seeing a familiar history differently."()Is the United States an empire? This book presents an eye-opening look on the history of the United States and its territories--Guam, the Philippines, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The book focuses on the history of the United States in two parts: the Colonial Empire and...
  • Andie
    This is a very readable history on the United States' adventures in Empire building. Usually we mostly hear government denials on this subject, but Daniel Immerwahr lays out a clear case that we have had one for a very long time.He begins by talking about the "manifest destiny" of the westward expansion that began as a concentrated campaign against the Native Americans almost as soon as the Constitution was ratified and culminated with William Se...
  • Jake
    I was challenged to read a book I'd probably disagree with, and I've always disliked when people refer to the US as an "Empire". I was previously aware of the fact that the US had colonized the Philippines, and that we had taken a number of other islands from Spain. This was still pretty eye-opening in terms of what's gone on on American soil. It's a shame that the Philippines never figures more prominently in WWII history. It's just as eye-openi...
  • Terry
    Do you live in a world where the US is an empire [...]? Or do you live in a world where the US is a helpful non-Empire that protects the weak [...]?— Aaron Bady, “Who’s the Baddie? Captain Marvel in the Age of American Empire,” Los Angeles Review of Books, March 21, 2019, are a number of generals in this story, but I don't seem to recall encountering any officers as low in rank as captain. Nei...
  • Alex
    Probably more of a 4.5, but I'll round up since there is just a boatload of facts and insights I had not known before reading this. Most interesting segment for me delved into the managerial, cultural, and economic innovations which let the US build a "pointillist" empire, rather than a traditional one after WWII.
  • Jason Lester
    A work of crucial, eye-opening historical recontextualization. This book achieves a clear-headed, well-argued synthesis of complex tangles and byways of American imperial history. Highly recommended.
  • Du
    Really interesting look at the non contiguous United States. I learned a lot about the territories we have and why we have them. There is some social commentary, but overall the book is devoid of judgement.
  • Andy
    Possibly the best non-fiction book I’ve ever read.
  • Eileen
    Stunning “why do we not know that” history. A totally entertaining and mind-altering page-turner.
  • Randy
    I don't have time to write a review, but I thoroughly enjoy reading it.
  • Joe
    Fascinating read about the dark side of American history.
  • Christine Stamper
    An in-depth look at the United States' imperialism history and the ways that this is not a part of the understood history that we are taught.
  • Carly Thompson
    Fascinating, well-written account of American imperialism.