American Isolationism Between the World Wars: The Search for a Nation's Identity examines the theory of isolationism in America between the world wars, arguing that it is an ideal that has dominated the Republic since its founding.
During the interwar period, isolationists could be found among Republicans and Democrats, Catholics and Protestants, pacifists and militarists, rich and poor. While the dominant historical assessment of isolationism ― that it was "provincial" and "short-sighted" ― will be examined, this book argues that American isolationism between 1919 and the mid-1930s was a rational foreign policy simply because the European reversion back to politics as usual insured that the continent would remain unstable. Drawing on a wide range of newspaper and journal articles, biographies, congressional hearings, personal papers, and numerous secondary sources, Kenneth D. Rose suggests the time has come for a paradigm shift in how American isolationism is viewed. The text also offers a reflection on isolationism since the end of World War II, particularly the nature of isolationism during the Trump era.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of U.S. Foreign Relations and twentieth-century American history.