Books: Manifest Destiny

Kevin Phillips explains how three wars put Anglo-America on top

Who, centuries ago, would have named the English language and the English-speaking peoples as Most Likely to Succeed? Why is it not, say, German culture rather than American that saturates the globe? Why not Japanese, or Spanish, or French? How to account for the dominance of English as the language of the world's elites, or for the military/industrial/financial pre-eminence that, after two world wars, passed from the British Empire to the Americans?

In The Cousins' Wars: Religion, Politics, and the Triumph of Anglo-America (Basic Books; 707 pages; $32.50) Kevin Phillips fetches back 3 1/2 centuries for a complex, ingeniously woven explanation....

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