Modernity and Power
A History of the Domino Theory in the Twentieth Century
To emphasize the central role of symbolism and ideological assumptions in twentieth-century American statesmanship, Ninkovich focuses on the domino theory—a theory that departed radically from classic principles of political realism by sanctioning intervention in world regions with few financial or geographic claims on the national interest. Ninkovich insightfully traces the development of this global strategy from its first appearance early in the century through the Vietnam war.
Throughout the book, Ninkovich draws on primary sources to recover the worldview of the policy makers. He carefully assesses the coherence of their views rather than judge their actions against "objective" realities. Offering a new alternative to realpolitic and economic explanations of foreign policy, Modernity and Power will change the way we think about the history of U.S. international relations.