Perry Anderson

Perry Anderson is the author of, among other books, Spectrum, Lineages of the Absolutist State, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, Considerations on Western Marxism, English Questions, The Origins of Postmodernity, and The New Old World. He teaches history at UCLA and is on the editorial board of New Left Review.

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  • Two-part Salon interview with Perry Anderson

    This fall, Salon sat down with Perry Anderson for an extensive two-part interview.

    In part one, Anderson discussed the Cold War, Hiroshima, American exceptionalism, Iran, and his new book:

    Salon: “American Foreign Policy and its Thinkers” is well timed, given the unusual prominence foreign policy now assumes in the American political conversation. How would you describe your approach? What distinguishes the book from so many others? How should one read it? What’s the project?


    Anderson: The book tries to do two things. One is to cover the history of American foreign policy, from around 1900 to the present, tracing the gradual construction of a global empire. This first really came into view as a prospect during the Second World War and is today a reality across all five continents, as a glance at the skein of its military bases makes clear. The Cold War was a central episode within this trajectory, but the book doesn’t treat just the U.S. record vis-á-vis the USSR or China. It tries to deal equally with American relations with the Europe and Japan,  and also with the Third World, treated not as a homogenous entity but as four or five zones that required different policy combinations.

    The second part of the book is a survey of American grand strategy—that is, the different ways leading counselors of state interpret the current position of the United States on the world stage and their recommendations for what Washington should do about it.

    Read the interview here.

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