The Contours of American History Cover Image
By William Appleman Williams, Greg Grandin (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781844677740
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Verso - October 2011

Event date: 
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 6:30pm
The Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 Tenth Avenue
98122 Seattle
Our Global Issues & Ethics Book Group is devoted to discussing books that cover the most relevant topics of our everyday lives. Our January selection is The Contours of American History by William Appleman Williams. Williams was the American history profession's greatest critic of U.S. imperialism. The Contours of American History, first published in 1961, reached back into British history to argue that the relationship between liberalism and empire was in effect a grand compromise, with continual expansion abroad containing tensions at home.
The Modern Library chose Contours as one of the best one hundred nonfiction books of the twentieth century. This fiftieth anniversary edition includes a new introduction by Greg Grandin, one of the world's leading historians of the Americas. Eric Foner says of Williams book, "It is hard to capture the impact of The Contours of American History on a generation of young historians in the 1960's, offering a model of history writing that took account of class forces, state power, and the role of ideas. In a way, the study of history has come full circle, back to examining the interconnections between domestic and international history. Back to Williams, in other words."