The hidden Empire | Mangialibri


If at first glance we think of the United States, we immediately find ourselves faced with a problem that is no small matter: by imagining its boundaries, in fact, we tend to draw a map in our mind, as if by a sort of Pavlovian reflection, that takes into consideration only the continental part of the federation born from the thirteen colonies after the independence of 1776. It is what the political scientist Benedict Anderson called the map-logo, the rectangle with clean lines that excludes not only Hawaii and Alaska, but also all those other territories – such as , for example, Puerto Rico – which are in all respects an integral part of the so-called Greater United States of America, but which are often put into the background, even completely involuntarily, as if they were not part of history in all respects of a nation that is also a brand, an icon, a symbol, from the point of view of the collective cultural, social, economic, political, even automotive imagery, plates – wonderful – understood. And above all it is an empire: although it is not possible, especially because politically incorrect, to speak of colonies, it was also the Philippine currency – and the Asian archipelago has long been under the aegis / yoke with stars and stripes – a inspire the dollar and not, as one might suppose, the opposite, even if they have never had monarchs and indeed have always emphasized their otherness with respect to the empires proper (just think of the press release issued immediately after suffering the treacherous attack of Pearl Harbor, which date back to December 7, 1941, and not to the 8th like the Japanese, because it happened beyond the line of the change of date, just to place itself in the center), in fact the USA was, is and will be imperialist. All their epic is based on this veiled – but not too much – concept …

The USA is not New York, dripping skyscrapers, nor Philadelphia, with the Rocky steps, nor Los Angeles, with Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, nor San Francisco, with the mythical gay district of Castro and the legendary Lombard Street, with the spectacle of the vertical or almost Russian hairpin turns. But it’s not even the Iowa cornfields where Meryl Streep lets herself be seduced by Clint Eastwood in The bridges of Madison County, Scarlett O’Hara’s cotton plantations in juicy peach Georgia that had not yet given birth to Coca-Cola, Texas oil wells, Las Vegas lights, the Grand Canyon, the Yellowstone park full of redwoods , the Niagara Falls or the boundless grasslands that crosses slow pede driving a lawnmower tractor to Wisconsin where his stranger brother Richard Farnsworth is in a pretty bad tool, in the best David Lynch film, A true story. At least, it’s not just that. But this too. And even if they are a recent nation, which has established itself as a neuralgic land of opportunities, whatever they are, they have a great history, which here, nicely, the subtitle defines however short. And in fact, however, this version is synthetic, because it could have gone on indefinitely or almost: despite this, it is absolutely exhaustive, thanks to the very detailed portrait that, with clear popular prose, makes it from every point of view Daniel Immerwahr, associate professor of History at Northwestern University.

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