in Faculty, News
June 22nd, 2012

We are more then pleased to announce  that Professor Go’s book, “Patterns of Empire: The British and American Empires: 1688 to the Present” has just been awarded the American Political Science Associations’ J. David Greenstone Book Award for the best book in Politics and History published in 2010 and 2011. The book had also just been named “Best Book” of 2012 by the by the Global and Transnational Section of the American Sociological Association (blurb below).  Congratulations to Julian Go!

Julian Go’s Patterns of Empire offers a persuasive challenge to the story of American exceptionalism. Relying on a sustained comparison with the British case, Go argues that the U.S. experience with imperial rule during its rise, height, and current decline has not been fundamentally different from that of other imperial states. As in all such cases, the specific circumstances of U.S. empire have emerged from the interactions between imperial rulers and colonial subjects. As Go puts it, “rather than omnipotent powers that easily make and remake their subjects and spaces, and rather than entities shaped from within, [empires] must be understood as adaptive dynamic entities that are shaped and reshaped by foreign societies as much as they strive to control them” (27). This masterfully written book represents several of the best traditions of politics & history research. In the historical sociology tradition of Theda Skocpol, it deploys the comparative method to illuminate large substantive questions of power and governance. It traces big, slow-moving processes over 300-plus years of history across multiple continents, and yet supports its key claims with careful archival research. And its central argument questions the received wisdom about the past in ways that are of broad contemporary significance. In particular, Go’s observation that “falling empires, like rising ones, do not behave well” provides a cautionary lesson for the U.S. role in the world today.” –Thomas Keck, Chair, Greenstone Award Committee



Patterns of Empire: The British and American Empires: 1688 to the Present, by Prof. Julian Go, has been named “Best Book” of 2012 by the Global and Transnational Section of the American Sociological Association. The award committee says that his book “impressively challenges the prevalent view that the American empire is unique…[and] shows how the practices, policies, institutions and dynamics of the American empire repeat those of the British one….The work uses the comparative historical method with theoretical and empirical rigor, and is a good read.”  Congratulations Julian!

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