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The United States became a great power in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and a superpower during World War II without quite knowing it. Few Americans fully appreciate the fact today. How many people know that in recent years we have had 250,000 troops in 700 bases around the world? Consider our recent history of military operations in the Caribbean, East Asia, the Far East, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Balkans. In America Rising, David Felix attempts to explain how and why America became a superpower by examining the political and economic factors that have driven its ascendence and their relationship throughout history. Felix begins with the dawn of America, showing how America amassed wealth and political power from the start through wars, assertions of economic might, and the creation of a cultural and philosophical base. The nation began with a political order, derived from our British origins, which enabled our pragmatic culture to take advantage of the vast wealth of a near-virgin continent. Political and economic freedom were paired, authority yielding to both freedoms. Our farmers and businessmen were dreamers, manufacturing realities out of those dreams. Felix's account then makes a point of neoclassical economics as an anvil on which to hammer out a sharper sense of the content of our existence. This book, which demonstrates the author's zest for historical analysis and great story-telling ability, points to the central fact of a rising America--the intensely energizing interaction between polity and economy. The United States is the greatest power in world history, but the rise of another great power, China, is beginning to be increasingly apparent. One trusts that, drawing upon its deep resources, America will remember its history and traditions and continue as a superpower.