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Crucible of Power

A History of American Foreign Relations from 1897

Howard Jones

Crucible of Power is an updated, revised version of Howard Jones's classic text Quest for Security: A History of U.S. Foreign Relations from 1897. This book, available again for use in the classroom, presents a straightforward, balanced, and comprehensive history of American international relations and the major events in the nation's foreign affairs from 1897 to the present.

Crucible of Power demonstrates the complexities involved in the decision-making process that led to the rise and decline of the United States (relative to the ascent of other nations) in world power status. The book focuses on the personalities, security interests, and expansionist tendencies behind the formation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy and highlights the intimate relationship between foreign and domestic policy. The author also examines the historical antecedents of the nation's twentieth-century foreign policy.

This volume relies on the natural chronology of historical events to organize and narrate the story as the nation's leaders saw it. Using this narrative approach, the tangled and often confusing nature of foreign affairs is uncovered without the illusion that in the past, American foreign relations took place in a well-ordered fashion. From this history, students will understand the plight of present-day policymakers who encounter an array of problems that are rarely susceptible to simple analysis and ready solution.

A companion volume to this book, Crucible of Power: A History of American Foreign Relations to 1913 is also available. Crucible of Power is an indispensable core text for American diplomatic history courses and courses on twentieth-century American foreign policy.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 555
978-1-4616-0709-0 • eBook • August 2001 • $49.00 • (£32.95)
Howard Jones is University Research Professor in the Department of History at University of Alabama.
Chapter 1: U.S. Imperialism and the New Manifest Destiny, 1897–1900
Chapter 2: Theodore Roosevelt and the Search for World Order, 1900–1913
Chapter 3: Woodrow Wilson and Missionary Diplomacy: Prologue to U.S. Entry into World War I, 1913–1917
Chapter 4: World War I and the League of Nations, 1917–1921
Chapter 5: The Independent Internationalism of the United States, 1921–1933
Chapter 6: The Coming of World War II, 1933–1939
Chapter 7: From Europe to Pearl Harbor, 1939–1941
Chapter 8: Wartime Diplomacy and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941–1945
Chapter 9: Cold War and Containment in Europe and the Near East, 1945–1950
Chapter 10: Cold War and Containment in East Asia, 1950–1953
Chapter 11: Containment Continued: The Eisenhower Years, 1953–1961
Chapter 12: Containment at the Brink: Kennedy and Cuba, 1961–1963
Chapter 13: Containment in Collapse: Johnson and Vietnam, 1963–1969
Chapter 14: Vietnamization through Détente: A New Containment, 1969–1977
Chapter 15: The New World Order: Jimmy Carter and the Diplomacy of Human Rights, 1977–1981
Chapter 16: Cold War II: Reagan and the Revival of Containment, 1981–1989
Chapter 17: The End of the Cold War . . . and Afterward, 1989–
Howard Jones draws on his remarkable breadth as a historian of U.S. foreign relations to produce a distinguished survey of America's growth from an emerging power in the 1890s to its present-day position of global preeminence. His exposition is precise; his sources, exhaustive; his illustrations, revealing; his arguments, lucid. Professor Jones fully recognizes the complexity, inconsistency, and idiosyncrasy that is the hallmark of America's engagement with the world, yet his presentation navigates a century of international rapids with an ease that students will welcome and with an authority that instructors will appreciate.
Richard H. Immerman, professor and chair, Department of History, Temple University

Straightforward and direct, Crucible of Power: A History of American Foreign Relations from 1897 provides students with an accessible means for gaining entrée into the history of American foreign relations. It also shows some of the distinctive aspects of American statecraft, notably a concern for the impact of economic and strategic realities, as well as an ideological commitment in defense of national ideals and human rights. The author's balanced approach is exemplary.
Mark T. Gilderhus, Lyndon B. Johnson Chair, Texas Christian University

In a volume characteristic of his broad-ranging and important scholarship on U.S. foreign relations, Professor Jones has written a comprehensive, tempered, and highly accessible narrative account of the nation's twentieth-century international involvements. While demonstrating the complexities facing U.S. policymakers and the limitations on their choices and actions, Jones offers a balanced and probing assessment of their successes and failures.
Joseph A. Fry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas