• The True Flag

  • Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire
  • By: Stephen Kinzer
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 24-01-2017
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (2 ratings)

Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of Overthrow and The Brothers brings to life the forgotten political debate that set America's interventionist course in the world for the 20th century and beyond.
How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat - until the cycle begins again.
No matter how often we debate this question, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country.
Revealing a piece of forgotten history in The True Flag, Stephen Kinzer transports us to the dawn of the 20th century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation.
The country's best-known political and intellectual leaders took sides. Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst pushed for imperial expansion; Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie preached restraint. Only once before - in the period when the United States was founded - have so many brilliant Americans so eloquently debated a question so fraught with meaning for all humanity.
All Americans, regardless of political perspective, can take inspiration from the titans who faced off in this epic confrontation. Their words are amazingly current. Every argument over America's role in the world grows from this one. It all starts here. This program includes an introduction read by the author.
©2017 Stephen Kinzer (P)2017 Macmillan Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Joshua C. Packard on 20-02-2017

Timely and important

I'm currently active duty Army with 17 years in service. In my opinion, this book should be read by every soldier and, most importantly, by our politicians who decide whether to send us into harms way. As the author demonstrates so eloquently in this book, intervention abroad (whether by democrats or republicans) rarely leads to the intended goals due to ignorance, hubris, and unintended consequences. The Spanish-American War is a little understood and rarely discussed period of American military history. But that really should change given that the vigorous debate surrounding it are just as relevant today as they were over 100 years ago.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 29-01-2017

Highly Relevant History Lesson Well Told.

This well told history of the Spanish American War serves up many insights into the roots, motivations, and perils of American intervetion abroad right up to our present quagmires in Iraq and Afganistan. The heated political debates among giant personalities are as relevant today as they were in the 1890s. These are lessons we have not yet learned as a nation. Our failure heed them will create an increasingly unstable and dangerous world. Excellent and important book. Highly recommended.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Brendan on 17-05-2018

Revelatory tales of the birth of American Empire

a must read for anyone who values democracy and concerned by the bully pulpit of mass media who support the idea of benign interventions

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5 out of 5 stars
By Lord Peridot on 01-09-2017

Turning point in US identity

Stephen Kinzer has a talent for pitching serious history at a level which is comprehensible to the layman. Hopefully we will see more of his books on Audible. This book recounts the politics and social attitudes of America's takeover of the vestiges of the Spanish empire. Its a rivetting and somewhat tragic story, laying the foundations of America's quasi imperial role in the 20th century. It might sound a bit dry but with players like Roosevelt, Karl Schurz, Andrew Carnegie and Mark Twain involved there is never a dull moment. Excellent reading by Robert Petkoff.

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