Why Empires Strike Out

Imperialism may be chic, but it's not the American way

For a concept on which, one had naively supposed, the sun had set when the last British Governor of Hong Kong sailed out of the city's harbor in 1997, imperialism is having one heck of a comeback. At the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City last week, a standing-room-only crowd gathered to hear Niall Ferguson. The Scottish historian is enjoying rock-star status with his new book, Empire, which argues that British colonial rule was a jolly good thing and that a new American empire would do well to learn its lessons. In the sacred texts of neoconservatism, imperialism is...

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