In The Right to Rule: American Exceptionalism and the Coming Multipolar World Order, Hugh De Santis explores the evolution of American exceptionalism and its effect on the nation’s relations with the external world. De Santis argues that the self-image of an exceptional, providentially blessed society unlike any other is a myth that pays too little heed to the history that shaped America’s emergence, including its core beliefs and values, which are inheritances from seventeenth-century England. From the republic’s founding to its rise as the world’s preeminent power, American exceptionalism has underpinned the nation’s foreign policy, but it has become an anachronism in the twenty-first century. De Santis argues that, in the emerging multipolar world order, the United States will be one of several powers that determine the structure and rules of international politics, rather than the sole arbiter.
Hugh De Santis is independent scholar and writer.
Chapter 1: The Myth of American Exceptionalism
Chapter 2: A Righteous Republic
Chapter 3: Power and Prophecy
Chapter 4: Remaking the World, Part Two
Chapter 5: The Trustee of Freedom
Chapter 6: The Politics of Accommodation
Chapter 7: The Unilateralist Fantasy
Chapter 8: Beyond American Exceptionalism
The Right to Rule is a rich and learned examination of American identity in all of its varied, evolving, and contradictory forms. Americans today are asking 'Who are we? How did we get here?' For answers, they would do well to start with Hugh De Santis's enthralling account.
Vastly erudite, well-documented, and wide-ranging, Hugh De Santis’s book is, he writes, ‘ultimately… a provocation.’ After a tour of other empires in world history, he tracks ‘the myth of American exceptionalism’ and its shifting shape through the entire course of the American past, from Winthrop’s ‘city on a hill’ to Trump. Will the idea lead, or mislead, the country into a future multipolar world? Read this book for a reasoned answer.
A timely, bold, and elegantly written exploration of American exceptionalism in its many incarnations, The Right to Rule is a plea for a realistic approach to a changing world order unbound from the nation’s belief in its providential purpose.