'Wry, readable and often astonishing... A provocative and absorbing history of the United States' New York Times
The United States denies having dreams of empire.
We know America has spread its money, language and culture across the world, but we still think of it as a contained territory, framed by Canada above, Mexico below, and oceans either side. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is the story of the United States outside the United States – from nineteenth-century conquests like Alaska and Puerto Rico to the catalogue of islands, archipelagos and military bases dotted around the globe. Full of surprises and previously forgotten episodes, this fascinating book casts America’s history, and its present, in a revealing new light.
[A] smashing new book… fascinating
Lively and fascinating … [Immerwahr] is incapable of writing a dull page, and he has a real gift for making striking and unusual connections
To call this standout book a corrective would make it sound earnest and dutiful, when in fact it is wry, readable and often astonishing … It’s a testament to Immerwahr’s considerable storytelling skills that I found myself riveted by his sections on Hoover’s quest for standardized screw threads, wondering what might happen next. But beyond its collection of anecdotes and arcana, this humane book offers something bigger and more profound. How to Hide an Empire nimbly combines breadth and sweep with fine-grained attention to detail. The result is a provocative and absorbing history of the United States — ‘not as it appears in its fantasies, but as it actually is.’