""(At the beginning of the twentieth century) the United States was not taken seriously as a world power. How is it that in the 'American Century' the United States came to rule the world?"

Dunn's work explores many international precedents of war and psychology to explain America's entry into World War II, such as the decline of empires in Europe and the rise of fascism. It also makes an argument for Franklin Roosevelt's prior knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack by Japan on December 7, 1941, was the definitive act that permitted Roosevelt's administration, which had been giving significant aid to the British without official Congressional approval, to declare total war against Japan. Ultimately, Germany's declaration of war against the US launched the country fully into the Second World War. The socio-economic impact of both world wars, the Great Depression, and the rebuilding and restructuring of Europe, shifted the realpolitik dynamic, which had been wobbling for decades, from the UK to the US.

Although the effectiveness of the author’s work would have been enhanced by some additional editing, the author's passion for the subject is evident, and the result is a magnum opus of basic historical investigation. Dunn's essay/thesis style combines with his integrating macro-developments with micro-incidents in ways that at times appear random in the book, although, based on historians' interpretations, the incidents are rendered accurately. Events under the reigns of the Napoleons, the Franco-Prussian War, thumbnail sketches of other monarchs, a retelling of the young Winston Churchill's escape from the Boers, as well as the first known implementation of "Concentration Camps"—prisons used to detain the families of the British enemy during the Boer War in order to bring the men back home, away from the battles—demonstrate Dunn's grasp of history as well as his attempt at psychological studies of some of the major actors. The result is a complex and thought-provoking work.

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