Video: Defying Gravity

American Power in the Long 20th Century

Adam Tooze

The history of American power, as it is commonly written, is a weighty subject, a matter of military and economic heft, of ‘throw-weight’, of resource mobilisation and material culture, of ‘boots on the ground’. In his LRB Winter Lecture, Adam Tooze examines an alternative, counterintuitive vision of America, as a power defying gravity. This image gives us a less materialistic, more fantastical and more unstable vision of America’s role in the world.

The lecture was delivered at the British Museum on 22 February 2019.

Read more from Adam Tooze in the LRB:

Is this the end of the American century?

Tempestuous Seasons: Keynes in China

A General Logic of Crisis

After the Wars: Schäuble’s Realm