Contemporary America, with its unparalleled armaments and ambition, seems to many commentators a new empire. Others angrily reject the designation. What stakes would being an empire have for our identity at home and our role abroad? In Among Empires, a preeminent American historian addresses these issues in light of the history of empires since antiquity. Gathering a remarkable array of evidence—from Roman, Ottoman, Moghul, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and British experience—Maier outlines the essentials of empire throughout history. He then explores the exercise of U.S. power in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, carefully analyzing its economic and strategic sources and the nation's relationship to predecessors and rivals.