Cover: Global Dawn: The Cultural Foundation of American Internationalism, 1865–1890, from Harvard University PressCover: Global Dawn in HARDCOVER

Global Dawn

The Cultural Foundation of American Internationalism, 1865–1890

Add to Cart

Product Details


$68.50 • £54.95 • €61.50

ISBN 9780674035041

Publication Date: 10/15/2009


440 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Ninkovich examines a number of Gilded Age periodicals—including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Weekly, and The Nation—to explain why the United States embraced imperial policies at the turn of the twentieth century and increasingly internationalist ones thereafter. He finds in their pages the intellectual groundings of a more purposeful, professional, and far-reaching diplomacy. Clearly and wittily written, this book captures a constellation of views on global interconnections at a moment in U.S. history not known for internationalist outlooks. It makes a significant contribution to the history of globalization and especially to the intellectual history of global consciousness.—Kristin L. Hoganson, author of Consumers’ Imperium: The Global Production of American Domesticity, 1865–1920

Bringing a sensitivity both to U.S. intellectual trends and to global developments, Ninkovich explores how globalization has affected the American imagination. He finds that many American liberal thinkers in the last decades of the nineteenth century demonstrated a keen awareness of global transformative forces and their implications for U.S. international affairs, leading them to embrace the idea that the nation’s contribution lay primarily in what today would be called ‘soft power’—its economic, political, and cultural influence rather than through geopolitics or imperialism. This is a remarkable book, full of insights not just about the past but also about the present.—Akira Iriye, author of Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World

In a deep and wide-ranging analysis of intellectual thought during the quarter century between 1865 and 1890, Frank Ninkovich describes ‘the cultural foundation for the emergence of imperialism and globalism’ in the United States. The internationalist ideas he chronicles were powerful and enduring influences on the dominant American vocabulary of foreign affairs. Ninkovich’s clear and sensible discussion of how culture acts as a ‘field of possibility’ for innovative domestic and international thinking is impressive. Thoughtful and iconoclastic, this work is one of the best cultural histories of internationalism to date and is a major contribution to the literature on American foreign relations, imperialism, and culture and international affairs.—Jeremi Suri, author of Power and Protest and Henry Kissinger and the American Century

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Strategy of Conflict, by Thomas C. Schelling, from Harvard University Press

Schelling the Trailblazer

Books influence us in untold ways, and the ones that influence us the most are often read in childhood. Harvard University Press Senior Editor Julia Kirby is reminded of this on the anniversary of the birth of one of this country’s most celebrated economists. This month would have brought Thomas Schelling’s one-hundredth birthday—and he got closer to seeing it than many mortals. The Nobel laureate economist died just five years ago, after a brilliant career as both a scholar and an advisor to US foreign policy strategists. What better day to dip into his classic work