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For decades the United States has been the most dominant player on the world's stage. The country's economic authority, its globally forceful foreign policy, and its dominant position in international institutions tend to be seen as the result of a long-standing, deliberate drive to become a major global force. Furthermore, it has become widely accepted that American exceptionalism - the belief that America is a country like no other in history - has been at the root of many of the country's political, military, and global moves. Frank Ninkovich disagrees. One of the preeminent intellectual historians of our time, Ninkovich delivers here his most ambitious and sweeping book to date. He argues that historically the United States has been driven not by a belief in its destiny or its special character but rather by a need to survive the forces of globalization. He builds the powerful case that American foreign policy has long been based on and entangled in questions of global engagement, while also showing that globalization itself has always been distinct from - and sometimes in direct conflict with - what we call international society. In the second half of the twentieth century, the United States unexpectedly stumbled into the role of global policeman and was forced to find ways to resolve international conflicts that did not entail nuclear warfare. The US's decisions were based less in notions of exceptionalism and more in a need to preserve and expand a flourishing global society that had become essential to the American way of life. Sure to be controversial, The Global Republic compellingly and provocatively counters some of the most common and deepest misconceptions about America's history and its place in the world.