[Sexton's] arguments are significant, if sometimes unsurprising ... Mr. Sexton hovers above the fray like an orbiting astronaut, offering a valuable view of what U.S. history might look like if you keep the rest of the planet in view ... The author’s radar has a harder time locating the global circulation of things less tangible but equally important, like political ideas and social movements ... Given Mr. Sexton’s emphasis on war, statecraft and global capital, maybe it’s to be expected that powerful white men would dominate his story ... To his credit, Mr. Sexton does believe these groups belong in his story. But he hasn’t entirely figured out how to weave them in. Perhaps that’s because their inclusion might change the story itself. For authors daring enough to embrace that challenge, Mr. Sexton’s book will be an excellent starting place.
Illustrates its recounting of U.S. history with many rich details ... However, the theory behind the book’s thesis is amorphous and poorly defined. Sexton could do more to note parallels and differences in his own analysis with those of other scholars.