MixedThe Wall Street Journal\"The author relates... episodes well ... Mr. Immerwahr engagingly describes how, during the 19th century, the U.S. seized various islands for their abundance of guano .. The author’s criticisms are on sounder ground when it comes to the Philippines... Yet he again fails to note the role of great-power jockeying, which complicates tidy moral categories ... The author implores us to see the U.S. \'not as it appears in its fantasies, but as it actually is.\' But he too often lapses into his own kind of fantasy, in which the alternative to U.S. empire for weak states was always self-determination rather than domination by a less-liberal competitor.\
John B Judis
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal\"Judis... does not see a death-match between imperial liberalism on the one hand and nationalism on the other ... [a] modest book ... The crucial question, which... Mr. Judis [doesn\'t fully answer] is what that identity should look like in today’s America.\
Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalIn How Democracies Die, Messrs. Levitsky and Ziblatt investigate the way these conditions can be lost: How do the invisible rules of constitutional democracy evaporate in places where they once seemed secure, bringing orderly competition to an end? Much of the book treats this question informatively by offering historical portraits of democratic dissolution, focusing especially on pre-World War II Europe and postwar Latin America … The chief purpose of this book, however, is to alert the public about the unique threat President Trump ostensibly poses to democracy. The authors observe, rightly, that he admires strongmen and often seems to wish that he could act like one … The authors argue, with good evidence, that democracies aren’t destroyed because of the impulses of a single man; they are, instead, degraded in the course of a partisan tit-for-tat dynamic that degrades norms over time until one side sees an opening to deliver the death blow.