In the Shadows of the American Century

In the Shadows of the American Century

The Rise and Decline of US Global Power

Book - 2017
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"In a completely original analysis, prize-winning historian Alfred W. McCoy explores America's rise as a world power--from the 1890s through the Cold War--and its bid to extend its hegemony deep into the twenty-first century through a fusion of cyberwar, space warfare, trade pacts, and military alliances. McCoy then analyzes the marquee instruments of US hegemony--covert intervention, client elites, psychological torture, and worldwide surveillance. Peeling back layers of secrecy, McCoy exposes a military and economic battle for global domination fought in the shadows, largely unknown to those outside the highest rungs of power. Can the United States extend the "American Century" or will China guide the globe for the next hundred years? McCoy devotes his final chapter to these questions, boldly laying out a series of scenarios that could lead to the end of Washington's world domination by 2030." -- Publisher's description
Publisher: Chicago, IL : Haymarket Books, 2017
ISBN: 9781608467730
1608467732
Branch Call Number: 327.73 M1375I 2017
Characteristics: 359 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm

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Masonw4
Dec 05, 2017

In The Shadows of the American Century is a sober look on America’s possible future. It’s broken into three parts with the the author’s personal history and interaction with the American Empire, a breakdown on how it formed and functioned, and scenarios of how it unfolds into the 2030’s.

The first part is absolutely riveting with Mr. McCoy having gone toe to toe with the Central Intelligence Agency in the past. His family and person have been shaped by the American Empire, with sad consequences but with interesting lessons.

Mr. McCoy breaks down how the Empire functions, with one of the most sophisitcated and rich intelligece networks around the globe. Past successful coups and counter-intelligence operations have won America important allies abroad. When it fails, mostly on the part of the CIA, the U.S. risks losing an entire region.

McCoy briefly covers the serious damage of these failed operations, along with recently and poorly planned foreign policy adventures like The War on Terror. Being published in 2017, it is fantastically up to date with recent debacles of the torture prison system in Iraq, and even a failed operation in the Phillipines.

Finally, McCoy predicts the likely downfall of Washington as a superpower by around 2030 with many wounds self-inflicted. This a rather depressing chapter in the book. The millennial generation will likely face a very stressful adulthood.

Without many suggestions for a corrective course, it’s a fairly dark reading but it gives the reader an idea of what specifically the United States has been foolishly chasing the last few decades. It’s a left leaning reading. McCoy seems to push for a more diplomatic approach while lambasting the neo-conservative approach to foreign policy several times. He gives a rather positive review of Obama’s foreign policy while admitting some of Obama’s limitations. Though McCoy curiously ignored the disaster of Libya and its fall into lawlessness.

No easy choices for what’s up ahead, better to have a clue of what could happen.

s
StarGladiator
Oct 28, 2017

*********************** 100-Starred Review ***************************************
OK, historian, Prof. McCoy has done it again with a most remarkable book where he touches upon ALL the most important of issues [actually not that long, but appears larger due to his most comprehensive notes section].
I might take exception with his statement of the number of covert ops President Kennedy ordered: this derives from CIA data, and they do have a lengthy record of falsifying and destroying information. [One of the recurring news reports from our vaunted Fake News - - now reporting everyone else is fakey - - is that with the latest release of so-called JFK files from the National Archives - - which you may recall had a number of files stolen from it by Sandy Berger, formerly with the Clinton Administration, and a whole bunch of others destroyed in a fire in 1978, when James Moore was chief of the Audio-Visual Division where it started {Moore having formerly identified himself as J. Walton Moore, when he was the CIA man stationed in Dallas, TX, on November of 1963} - - is that even Richard Helms was asking questions about the JFK assassination {Helms was censured by the US Congress for committing perjury, and also was guilty of destroying the majority of MK ULTRA files kept at the Chestnut Lodge Sanitarium, in Rockville, MD, USA, so not a necessarily valid source}.]
Otherwise, a fantastic read of the past, present and probable future - - no thanks to the so-called National Security Establishment [CIA, NSA, DIA, FBI, NCTC, et cetera] which have allowed OVER 3 billion 270 million hacks since 2012 of American companies, retail chains, individuals and government agencies!
Interestingly, Prof. McCoy mentions cocaine trafficker, Alan Hyde [although cannot find any connection between him and Hyde Shipping Corporation, he certainly appears to have a connection to Mariscos Hybur and the freighters used by Hyde Shipping???], after the last entry from the CIA's IG report, suggesting Hyde may have been stealing weapons from the Contras he was smuggling for the CIA, Alan appears to dissapear. Was he knocked off by the Contras, the CIA, other cartel competitors, or did he change identities and hide out?!?! No trace of him on the Earth after 1993??? Alan Hyde was smuggling in arms to the Contras at the same time Ruth Hyde Paine was in Nicaragua, ostensibly for charitable/activist purposes - - wonder if there was any connection?!?!?

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