Please discuss forms of imperialism from the 18th to 21st centuries from the books The Brothers by Stephen Kinzer and The Devil and Mr. Casement by Jordan Goodman. Please provide page numbers for reference.   Thank you!

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Brothers by Stephen Kinzer is about the Dulles brothers--John Foster Dulles (who served as Secretary of State from 1953 to 1959) and Allen Dulles (who served as head of the CIA from 1953 to 1961). Their view of American foreign policy and American imperialism during the Cold War was formed, Kinzer writes, by fear. He states, "Foster and Allen were chief promoters of this fear" (page 312). Their ideology, which Kinzer thinks helped to eventually involve the U.S. in conflicts such as Vietnam, was also founded on the idea that "Providence had ordained a special role for the United States" (page 312). They believed in American Exceptionalism, the idea that the U.S. is different from other nations and has a commitment to liberty and equality that other nations don't have and that Americans do not need to adhere to when interacting with other countries. Finally, the Dulles brothers believed in a kind of "missionary Calvinism, which holds that the world is a eternal battleground between saintly and demonic forces" (page 312). These views informed the Dulles brothers' brand of imperialism and made them eager to take on the Soviet Union and fight communism in all corners of the world, including areas such as Guatemala and Iran (page 102) that threatened to turn communist.

The Devil and Mr. Casement is about Roger Casement, the British diplomat who wrote the 1903 Casement Report about the horrors that King Leopold II had perpetrated in the Congo Free State. Casement also revealed the abuses that the Peruvian Amazon Committee had inflicted on the Putumayo Indians while they were engaging in extracting rubber. In the Congo, Leopold carried out the worst forms of abuse. There were rumors of this abuse, but no one could substantiate them. Casement traveled to the interior of the Congo to do so. As Goodman writes, "The rumors were not exaggerated. Leopold's system was brutal" (page 8). For example, Leopold's private police force, the Force Publique, cut off people's hands and feet if they did not meet their quota for extracting rubber (page 10). Leopold was eventually stripped of the Congo Free State, which he owned personally. During the phase of his imperialist control of the area, the local people were subject to the worst kinds of abuses. Casement's report ended his control and this phase of Belgian imperialism in the Congo. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial