Professor David Haglund has published a new book entitled The US “Culture Wars” and the Anglo-American Special Relationship, in which he discusses ‘culture’ and the origins of the Anglo-American special relationship (the AASR). In the book, Dr. Haglund examines how the ‘culture wars’ of the early 20th century laid the groundwork both for U.S. intervention in the European balance of power in 1917 and the creation of what would become a lasting Anglo-American alliance.
In specific, Dr. Haglund looks at the vigorous assault on English ‘civilization’ launched by two large ethnic groups in America: the Irish-Americans and German-Americans. Dr. Haglund argues that this had the unintended effect of causing America’s demographic majority at the time, the English-descended Americans, to regard the prospect of an Anglo-American alliance in an entirely new manner. He questions why the Anglo-American ‘great rapprochement’ of 1898 failed to generate the desired Anglo-Saxon alliance in Britain. As such, Dr. Haglund delves into a theoretical analysis of the debates surrounding both the origins of the war in 1914 and those of the American intervention decision nearly three years later.
Notably, Dr. Haglund characterizes the construction of the AASR as not simply a function of geopolitical developments but as what allowed the possibility of an Anglo-American alliance. He approaches the topic of US intervention as an ontological-security issue that acted as an important factor in the origins of the Anglo-American security community. Dr. Haglund examines the role of Irish- and German-Americans in influencing public opinion of US intervention and later alliance with Great Britain, making his book an insightful contribution to the fields of International Relations and History.