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Date & Time

Thursday, March 14, 2019
6:00 PM


Seminary Co-op Bookstore


Free and open to the public


Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


"A richly detailed, thoroughly researched history… the author engagingly depicts the nations' conquests… Immerwahr animates the narrative with a lively cast of characters… A vivid recounting of imperial America's shameful past."—Kirkus (Starred Review)

A discussion with Daniel Immerwahr, author of "How to Hide an Empire". He will be joined in conversation by Jonathan Levy. A Q&A and signing will follow the event.

At the Co-op

About the Book: We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories—the islands, atolls, and archipelagos—this country has governed and inhabited?

In "How to Hide an Empire", Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century’s most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress.

In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, "How to Hide an Empire" is a major and compulsively readable work of history.

About the Author: Daniel Immerwahr is a historian of the United States and the world, serving in the history department at Northwestern University. His first book, "Thinking Small" (Harvard, 2015), offers a critical account of the United States' pursuit of grassroots development at home and abroad in the middle of the twentieth century. His second book, "How to Hide an Empire", a narrative history of the United States' overseas territory, has just been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

About the Interloctur: Jonathan Levy, professor at the University of Chicago, is a historian of economic life in the United States, with interests in the relationships between business and economic history, political economy, legal history, and the history of ideas. His research and teaching span the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and are increasingly preoccupied with global and comparative questions.