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"This provocative interpretation makes contested and contingent what was once manifestly destined, prompting even readers who dispute particular cases to rethink assumptions about the territorial expansion of the United States. Richards's account of settlers who moved beyond the boundaries of the country won't settle arguments; it will start some, however, which will make this a book that matters."

"Thomas Richards's fascinating book offers both a decisive refutation of 'manifest destiny' and a tantalizing vision of the American West: one in which struggles for power and sovereignty were local rather than national, and in which contingency played the greatest role in shaping the future."

"Breakaway Americas offers a compelling account of the diverse state-building projects of the Jacksonian era, from the theocratic republic of the Latter-day Saints to the sovereignty claims of the Cherokee Nation. These threatened to disintegrate the fragile United States decades before the question of slavery combined with the problem of western empire to rip the whole republic apart. This book requires serious attention."

"In Breakaway Americas, Thomas Richards liberates the familiar story of the nation's westward expansion from its longstanding confinement in the framework of a fated and inevitable outcome. Thanks to this book, readers across the political spectrum will have a prime opportunity to understand why historians see such power in the concept of contingency as a potent remedy for the paralysis of fatalism."

Breakaway Americas
The Unmanifest Future of the Jacksonian United States
Publication Date: 21 Apr 2020
Status: Available
Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 360 pages
Illustrations: 16 b&w illus.
ISBN: 9781421437132