Picture, in your mind’s eye, a map of the United States of America. What do you see?
If you’re like most of us, you’re probably picturing an outline of the contiguous United States, the so-called “lower 48.”
You might also be picturing Alaska up there in the top left corner, and Hawai’i somewhere out there in the Pacific.
Now let me ask you:
Why were you taught that this is an accurate representation of the United States?
As the historian Daniel Immerwahr points out in his groundbreaking book How to Hide an Empire, this “logo map” really only accurately depicted the United States for a brief period of a few years around 1850.
What that map hides speaks volumes about the history of the American Empire over the last 150 years.
For episode 67 of The Good Life Revival Podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Daniel Immerwahr about some of the stranger-than-fiction stories that characterize America’s unique brand of imperialism.
As you will hear, the term “empire” is both a description of a country’s shape and of its character — and we can learn a lot by observing how it treats land and people in places where its own laws and ethics don’t always apply.
How do we characterize the American Empire?
Well, how you feel about it probably comes down to how much you know about those stories that it doesn’t tell you.
And if you are not counted among those who have been historically oppressed on the fringes of society, then it’s up to you to seek out these stories for yourself.
I hope that this conversation, and the book How to Hide an Empire, will encourage you to do just that.
Stream and download episode 67 at the top of the page, or listen through iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. Don’t forget to subscribe!
All music was created by Sam Sycamore, and can be downloaded by subscribers at any level over on Patreon. If you’d prefer to offer a one-time financial contribution, you can do so through PayPal. This show is made possible by listeners like you.