In This Review

The New World Power: American Foreign Policy, 1898-1917
The New World Power: American Foreign Policy, 1898-1917
By Robert E. Hannigan
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, 384 pp

A clear and comprehensive review of American foreign policy in a critical era, The New World Power is an ideal complement to Warren Zimmerman's extraordinary The First Great Triumph. Straightforward enough to serve as a useful textbook and thorough enough to engage expert readers, this book reviews the major preoccupations of American foreign policy from the Spanish-American War through the period of neutrality before U.S. entry into World War I. Hannigan's key themes are the continuities throughout the era's four presidential administrations and the degree to which American policy on particular issues -- ranging from Central American politics to relations with the great European powers -- was shaped by an emerging view of global order. Hannigan argues that both Theodore Roosevelt and Elihu Root were flexible and far-sighted diplomats; Woodrow Wilson and the unfortunate Philander Knox get lower grades. Not every reader will agree, but all will appreciate the merits of this intelligent, readable, and thoughtful book.