Crucible of Power is an updated, revised version of Howard Jones's classic text Quest for Security: A History of U.S. Foreign Relations from 1897. This book, available again for use in the classroom, presents a straightforward, balanced, and comprehensive history of American international relations and the major events in the nation's foreign affairs from 1897 to the present. Crucible of Power demonstrates the complexities involved in the decision-making process that led to the rise and decline of the United States (relative to the ascent of other nations) in world power status. The book focuses on the personalities, security interests, and expansionist tendencies behind the formation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy and highlights the intimate relationship between foreign and domestic policy. The author also examines the historical antecedents of the nation's twentieth-century foreign policy. This volume relies on the natural chronology of historical events to organize and narrate the story as the nation's leaders saw it.
Using this narrative approach, the tangled and often confusing nature of foreign affairs is uncovered without the illusion that in the past, American foreign relations took place in a well-ordered fashion. From this history, students will understand the plight of present-day policymakers who encounter an array of problems that are rarely susceptible to simple analysis and ready solution. A companion volume to this book, Crucible of Power: A History of American Foreign Relations to 1913 is also available. Crucible of Power is an indispensable core text for American diplomatic history courses and courses on twentieth-century American foreign policy.