Anti-imperialism in political science and international relations is a term used in a variety of contexts, usually by nationalist movements, who want to secede from a larger polity (usually in the form of an empire, but also in a multi-ethnic sovereign state) or as a specific theory opposed to capitalism in Marxist–Leninist discourse, derived from Vladimir Lenin's work Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. A less common usage is by supporters of a non-interventionist foreign policy.
People who categorize themselves as anti-imperialists often state that they are opposed to colonialism, colonial empires, hegemony, imperialism, and the territorial expansion of a country beyond its established borders. The phrase gained a wide currency after the Second World War and at the onset of the Cold War as political movements in colonies of European powers promoted national sovereignty. Some anti-imperialist groups who opposed the United States supported the power of the Soviet Union, such as in Guevarism, while in Maoism, this was criticized as social imperialism.
In the late 1870s, the term Imperialism was introduced to the English language by opponents of the aggressively imperial policies of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1874–80). It was shortly appropriated by supporters of "imperialism" such as Joseph Chamberlain. For some, imperialism designated a policy of idealism and philanthropy; others alleged that it was characterized by political self-interest, and a growing number associated it with capitalist greed. John A. Hobson and Lenin added a more theoretical macroeconomic connotation to the term. Many theoreticians on the left have followed either or both in emphasizing the structural or systemic character of "imperialism." Such writers have expanded the time period associated with the term so that it now designates neither a policy, nor a short space of decades in the late 19th century, but a global system extending over a period of centuries, often going back to Christopher Columbus and, in some facts, to the Crusades. As the application of the term has expanded, its meaning has shifted along five distinct but often parallel axes: the moral, the economic, the systemic, the cultural, and the temporal. Those changes reflect—among other shifts in sensibility—a growing unease with the fact of power, specifically, Western power.
The relationships among capitalism, aristocracy, and imperialism have been discussed and analysed by theoreticians, historians, political scientists such as John A. Hobson and Thorstein Veblen, Joseph Schumpeter and Norman Angell. Those intellectuals produced much of their works about imperialism before the First World War (1914–18), yet their combined work informed the study of the impact of imperialism upon Europe, and contributed to the political and ideologic reflections on the rise of the military–industrial complex in the US from the 1950s onwards.
J. A. Hobson said that domestic social reforms could cure the international disease of imperialism by removing its economic foundation. Hobson theorized that state intervention through taxation could boost broader consumption, create wealth, and encourage a peaceful multilateral world order. Conversely, should the state not intervene, rentiers (people who earn income from property or securities) would generate socially negative wealth that fostered imperialism and protectionism.
As a self-conscious political movement, anti-imperialism originated in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in opposition to the growing European colonial empires and the US control of the Philippines after 1898. However, it reached its highest level of popular support in the colonies themselves, where it formed the basis for a wide variety of national liberation movements during the mid-20th century and later. These movements, and their anti-imperialist ideas, were instrumental in the decolonization process of the 1950s and 1960s, which saw most European colonies in Asia and Africa achieving their independence.
Main article: American Anti-Imperialist League
An early use of the term "anti-imperialist" occurred after the United States entered the Spanish–American War in 1898. Most activists supported the war itself but opposed the annexation of new territory, especially the Philippines. The Anti-Imperialist League was founded on June 15, 1898 in Boston, in opposition of the acquisition of the Philippines, which happened anyway. The anti-imperialists opposed the expansion because they believed imperialism violated the credo of republicanism, especially the need for "consent of the governed."
Appalled by American imperialism, the Anti-Imperialist League, which included famous citizens such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry James, William James, and Mark Twain, formed a platform which stated
We hold that the policy known as imperialism is hostile to liberty and tends toward militarism, an evil from which it has been our glory to be free. We regret that it has become necessary in the land of Washington and Lincoln to reaffirm that all men, of whatever race or color, are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We maintain that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. We insist that the subjugation of any people is "criminal aggression" and open disloyalty to the distinctive principles of our Government...
We cordially invite the cooperation of all men and women who remain loyal to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
Fred Harrington states, "the anti-imperialist's did not oppose expansion because of commercial, religious, constitutional, or humanitarian reasons but instead because they thought that an imperialist policy ran counter to the political doctrines of the Declaration of Independence, Washington's Farewell Address, and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address".
Anti-imperialism in Britain and the British Empire
British anti-imperialism emerged in the 1890s, especially in the Liberal Party. For over a century, back to the days of Adam Smith, a few intellectuals had been hostile to imperialism on the grounds that it is a violation of the principles of free trade; they never formed a popular movement, and indeed imperialism seems to have been generally popular before the 1890s. The key impetus around 1900 came from public disgust with the British failures and atrocities connected with the Second Boer War (1899-1902). The War was fought against the Afrikaners, who were Dutch immigrants who had built new nations in South Africa. Opposition to the Second Boer War was modest when the war began, and was always less widespread than support for it, let alone the prevailing indifference. However, influential groups formed immediately and ineffectually against the war, including the South African Conciliation Committee and W. T. Stead's Stop the War Committee. Much of the opposition in Britain came from the Liberal party. Intellectuals and activists Britain based in the Socialist, labour, and Fabian movements generally oppose imperialism, and John A. Hobson, a Liberal, took many of his ideas from their writings. After the Boer war, opponents of imperialism turn their attention to the British colonies in Africa and Asia. By the 1920s, the government was sponsoring large-scale exhibits promoting imperialism, notably the 1924 British Empire Exhibition in London and the 1938 Glasgow Empire Exhibition. Some intellectuals use the opportunity to criticize imperialism as a policy.
Moderately active anti-imperial movements emerged in Canada and Australia. The French-Canadians were hostile to the British expansion, while, in Australia it was the Irish Catholics who were opposed. French-Canadians argue that Canadian nationalism was the proper and true goal, and it sometimes conflicted with loyalty to the British Empire. The French-Canadians would fight for Canada but would not fight for the Empire. From the 1890s to 1915, in province after province, there were attacks by anglophones to restrict or shut down French language public schools; French-Canadians were bitterly alienated.
Protestant Canadians, typically of British descent, generally supported British imperialism enthusiastically. They sent thousands of volunteers to fight alongside the British army against the Boers, and in the process identified themselves even more strongly with the British Empire. A little opposition also came from some English immigrants such as the intellectual leader Goldwin Smith. In Canada, the Irish Catholics were fighting the French-Canadians for control of the Catholic Church, so the Irish generally supported the pro-British position.
Anti-imperialism grew rapidly in India, and formed a core element of the demand by Congress for independence. Much of the impetus came from colonial students studying at Oxford and Cambridge, such as Mahatma Gandhi.
Marxism-Leninism, and anti-imperialism
In the mid-19th century, in Das Kapital (1867–94), Karl Marx mentioned imperialism to be part of the prehistory of the capitalist mode of production. Much more important was Lenin, who defined imperialism as "the highest stage of capitalism", the economic stage in which monopoly finance capital becomes the dominant application of capital. As such, said financial and economic circumstances impelled national governments and private business corporations to worldwide competition for control of natural resources and human labour by means of colonialism.
The Leninist views of imperialism, and related theories, such as dependency theory, address the economicdominance and exploitation of a country, rather than the military and the political dominance of a people, their country, and its natural resources. Hence, the primary purpose of imperialism is economic exploitation, rather than mere control of either a country or of a region. The Marxist and the Leninist denotation thus differs from the usual political-science denotation of imperialism as the direct control (intervention, occupation, and rule) characteristic of colonial and neo-colonial empires, as used in the realm of international relations.
In Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1917), Lenin outlined the five features of capitalist development that lead to imperialism:
- Concentration of production and capital leading to the dominance of national and multinational monopolies and cartels.
- Industrial capital as the dominant form of capital has been replaced by finance capital, with the industrial capitalists increasingly reliant on capital provided by monopolistic financial institutions; "Again and again, the final word in the development of banking is monopoly."
- The export of the aforementioned finance capital is emphasized over the export of goods;
- The economic division of the world by between multinational cartels;
- The political division of the world into colonies by the great powers, in which the great powers monopolise investment.
Generally, the relationship among Marxists and radical, left-wing organisations who are anti-war, often involves persuading such political activists to progress from pacifism to anti-imperialism—that is, to progress from the opposition of war, in general, to the condemnation of the capitalist economic system, in particular.
In the 20th century, the USSR represented themselves as the foremost enemy of imperialism, and thus politically and materially supported Third World revolutionary organisations who fought for national independence. The USSR sent military advisors to Ethiopia, Angola, Egypt, and Afghanistan. Nonetheless, the USSR behaved as an imperialist power when it asserted sphere-of-influence dominance upon Afghanistan (1979–89) and dominated the countries of Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, and the Caucasus, as accorded in the Yalta Agreement (4–11 February 1945) during the Second World War (1939–45).
Such imperialist behaviour ideologically discredited the USSR for not abiding the principles of Marxism; alternatively, anarchists presented such Soviet imperialism as evidence that the philosophy of Marxism would not resolve and eliminate imperialism. Notably, Mao Zedong developed the theory that the USSR was a social-imperialist nation, a socialist people with tendencies to imperialism, an important aspect of Maoist analysis of the history of the USSR. Contemporarily, the term Anti-imperialism is most commonly applied by Marxists, and political organisations of like ideologic bent, who propose anti-capitalism, present a class analysis of society, etc.
About the nature of imperialism, and how to oppose and defeat it, the revolutionary Che Guevara said:
imperialism is a world system, the last stage of capitalism—and it must be defeated in a world confrontation. The strategic end of this struggle should be the destruction of imperialism. Our share, the responsibility of the exploited and underdeveloped of the world, is to eliminate the foundations of imperialism: our oppressed nations, from where they extract capitals, raw materials, technicians, and cheap labor, and to which they export new capitals—instruments of domination—arms and all kinds of articles; thus submerging us in an absolute dependence.
— Che Guevara, Message to the Tricontinental, 1967
Right-wing nationalists and religious fundamentalist movements that have emerged in reaction to alleged imperialism might also fall within this category; for example, Khomeinism historically derived much of its popularity from its appeal to widespread anger at American intervention or influence in Iran and the Middle East.
The Indian Jamaat-e-Islami Hind launched a 10-day Nationwide campaign titled Anti-Imperialism Campaign in December 2009.
In Europe examples of right-wing anti-imperialism include the Republican Party of Armenia and the Serbian Radical Party.
Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt assert that traditional anti-imperialism is no longer relevant. In the book Empire, Negri and Hardt argue that imperialism is no longer the practice or domain of any one nation or state. Rather, they claim, the "Empire" is a conglomeration of all states, nations, corporations, media, popular and intellectual culture and so forth, and thus, traditional anti-imperialist methods and strategies can no longer be applied against them.
- ^Richard Koebner and Helmut Schmidt, Imperialism: The Story and Significance of a Political Word, 1840–1960 (2010).
- ^Hans-Ulrich Wehler (1969). Bismarck und der Imperialismus / Bismarck and Imperialism. Review of Politics, CUP. Kiepensheuer & Witsch, Cologne.
- ^Richard Koebner and Helmut Schmidt, Imperialism: The Story and Significance of a Political Word, 1840-1960 (2010)
- ^Mark F. Proudman, "Words for Scholars: The Semantics of 'Imperialism'". Journal of the Historical Society, September 2008, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p395-433
- ^D. K. Fieldhouse, "Imperialism": An Historiographical Revision", South African Journal of Economic History, March 1992, Vol. 7 Issue 1, pp 45-72
- ^G.K. Peatling, “Globalism, Hegemonism and British Power: J. A. Hobson and Alfred Zimmern Reconsidered”, History, July 2004, Vol. 89 Issue 295, pp. 381–98
- ^P. J. Cain, "Capitalism, Aristocracy and Empire: Some 'Classical' Theories of Imperialism Revisited", Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, March 2007, Vol. 35 Issue 1, pp 25-47
- ^G.K. Peatling, "Globalism, Hegemonism and British Power: J. A. Hobson and Alfred Zimmern Reconsidered", History, July 2004, Vol. 89 Issue 295, pp 381-398
- ^Harrington, 1935
- ^Richard Koebner and Helmut Schmidt, Imperialism: The Story and Significance of a Political Word, 1840-1960 (2010)
- ^Robert L. Beisner, Twelve against Empire: The Anti-Imperialists, 1898–1900 (1968)
- ^Julius Pratt, Expansionists of 1898: The Acquisition of Hawaii and the Spanish Islands (1936) pp 266–78
- ^"Platform of the American Antilmperialist League, 1899". Fordham University. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- ^Harrington, 1935, pp 211–12
- ^Richard E. Welch, Jr., Response to Imperialism: The United States and the Philippine-American War, 1899–1902 (1978)
- ^E. Berkeley Tompkins, Anti-Imperialism in the United States: The Great Debate, 1890–1920. (1970)
- ^Robert Livingston Schuyler, "The rise of anti-imperialism in England." Political science quarterly 37.3 (1922): 440-471. in JSTOR
- ^Gregory Claeys, Imperial Sceptics: British Critics of Empire, 1850–1920 (2010) excerpt
- ^Bernard Porter, Critics of Empire: British Radical Attitudes to Colonialism in Africa 1895-1914 (1968).
- ^Sarah Britton, "‘Come and See the Empire by the All Red Route!’: Anti-Imperialism and Exhibitions in Interwar Britain." History Workshop Journal 69#1 (2010).
- ^C. N. Connolly, "Class, birthplace, loyalty: Australian attitudes to the Boer War." Australian Historical Studies 18.71 (1978): 210-232.
- ^Carl Berger, ed. Imperialism and Nationalism, 1884-1914: a conflict in Canadian thought (1969).
- ^Brock Millman, Polarity, Patriotism, and Dissent in Great War Canada, 1914-1919 (University of Toronto Press, 2016).
- ^Gordon L. Heath, War with a Silver Lining: Canadian Protestant Churches and the South African War, 1899-1902 (McGill-Queen's Press-MQUP, 2009).
- ^R. Craig Brown, "Goldwin Smith and Anti‐imperialism." Canadian Historical Review 43.2 (1962): 93-105.
- ^Mark G. McGowan, "The De-Greening of the Irish: Toronto’s Irish‑Catholic Press, Imperialism, and the Forging of a New Identity, 1887-1914." Historical Papers/Communications historiques 24.1 (1989): 118-145.
- ^"Imperialism", The Penguin Dictionary of International Relations (1998), by Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham. p. 244.
- ^"Colonialism", The Penguin Dictionary of International Relations (1998) Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham, p. 79.
- ^"Imperialism", The Penguin Dictionary of International Relations (1998) Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham, p. 79.
- ^"Colonialism", The Penguin Dictionary of International Relations (1998) Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham, p. 79.
- ^"Lenin: Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism". Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- ^Battling Western Imperialism: Mao, Stalin, and the United States (1997), by Michael M. Sheng. p.00.
- ^Marxist Theories of Imperialism: A Critical Survey (1990), by Anthony Brewer. p. 293.
- ^Che Guevara: Message to the Tricontinental Spring of 1967.
- ^Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, Empire, Harvard University Press (2001) ISBN 0-674-00671-2
- Griffiths, Martin, and Terry O'Callaghan, and Steven C. Roach 2008. International Relations: The Key Concepts. Second Edition. New York: Routledge.
- Heywood, C. 2004. Political Theory: An Introduction New York: Palgrave MacMillan
- Harrington, Fred H. "The Anti-Imperialist Movement in the United States, 1898-1900", Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Sep., 1935), pp. 211–230 in JSTOR
- Proudman, Mark F.. "Words for Scholars: The Semantics of 'Imperialism'". Journal of the Historical Society, September 2008, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p395-433
- Ali, Tariq et al. Anti-Imperialism: A Guide for the MovementISBN 1-898876-96-7
- Boittin, Jennifer Anne. Colonial Metropolis: The Urban Grounds of Anti-Imperialism and Feminism in Interwar Paris (2010)
- Brendon, Piers. "A Moral Audit of the British Empire." History Today, (Oct 2007), Vol. 57 Issue 10, pp 44–47, online at EBSCO
- Brendon, Piers. The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 (2008) excerpt and text search
- Cain, P. J. and A.G. Hopkins. British Imperialism, 1688-2000 (2nd ed. 2001), 739pp, detailed economic history that presents the new "gentlemanly capitalists" thesis excerpt and text search
- Castro, Daniel, Walter D.Mignolo, and Irene Silverblatt. Another Face of Empire: Bartolomé de Las Casas, Indigenous Rights, and Ecclesiastical Imperialism (2007) excerpt and text search, Spanish colonies
- Cullinane, Michael Patrick. Liberty and American Anti-Imperialism, 1898-1909. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
- Ferguson, Niall. Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (2002), excerpt and text search
- Hamilton, Richard. President McKinley, War, and Empire (2006).
- Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. Empire (2001), influential statement from the left
- Herman, Arthur. Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age (2009) [excerpt and text search]
- Hobson, J.A. Imperialism: A Study (1905) except and text search 2010 edition
- James, Lawrence. The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (1997).
- Karsh, Efraim. Islamic Imperialism: A History (2007) excerpt and text search
- Olson, James S. et al., eds. Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism (1991) online edition
- Owen, Nicholas. The British Left and India: Metropolitan Anti-Imperialism, 1885-1947 (2008) excerpt and text search
- Polsgrove, Carol. Ending British Rule in Africa: Writers in a Common Cause (2009)
- Sagromoso, Domitilla, James Gow, and Rachel Kerr. Russian Imperialism Revisited: Neo-Empire, State Interests and Hegemonic Power (2010)
- Tompkins, E. Berkeley, ed. Anti-Imperialism in the United States: The Great Debate, 1890—1920. (1970) excerpts from primary and secondary sources
- Wang, Jianwei. "The Chinese interpretation of the concept of imperialism in the anti-imperialist context of the 1920s.," Journal of Modern Chinese History (2012) 6#2 pp 164–181.
Amazon sales commissions are donated to the Mark Twain Project,
University of California, Berkeley, CA.
The following review appeared 5 February 2008 on the Mark Twain Forum.
Copyright © 2008 Mark Twain Forum
This review may not be published or redistributed in any medium without permission.
University of Texas at Austin
This collection of eleven essays on the anti-imperialist movement and Mark Twain in Confronting Imperialism gives readers access to much of the scholarly work that Jim Zwick published between 1992 and 2002 in books, journals, and Zwick's sorely missed website. The essays vary in approach and content, but all focus on the larger questions of the history of the anti-imperialist movement and Mark Twain's views of empire, government, and politics. These essays constitute, in Zwick's words, "my continuing effort to trace and interpret his anti-imperialist writings, his involvement with the Anti-Imperialist League, and the history and continuing relevance of the Anti-Imperialist League itself" (x). They are a testament to the scholarly contributions of Jim Zwick to both Mark Twain and American studies.
The first four essays of the book explore the general topic of anti-imperialism as an important social movement, with only minimal reference to Mark Twain. These essays do not seek to provide a comprehensive argument, but rather they attempt to revise some outdated historiographical notions about the meaning of anti-imperialism in the United States.
The first essay, "The Anti-Imperialist Movement, 1898-1921," argues against the popular view, adopted from Theodore Roosevelt and others, that the anti-imperialist movement was short-lived, minimally influential, and largely unsuccessful. Instead, Zwick argues that the Anti-Imperialist League should be viewed as part of a larger social movement whose leadership and members were continuous with later anti-imperialist movements stretching at least into the 1930s (2). Zwick traces the institutional history of the Anti-Imperialist League through three periods (from its founding in 1898 to the election of 1900, through a major split in 1904-1905, and into its final years from 1912-1921), showing that the League changed with its political context while continuing to play a key role in American culture well past its period of initial influence. Also included in this group of essays are "The Anti-Imperialist League and the Origins of Filipino-American Oppositional Solidarity," "What's Age Got to Do With It? The Generation Gap Theory of American Imperialism," and "Oswald Garrison Villard and American Anti-Imperialism: A Biographical Excursion from 1900 to the 1960s."
The final seven essays of this collection focus on Twain's views of different international questions. "Mark Twain's Hawaii" examines Twain's first excursion outside the United States, a four-month visit to the Hawaiian Islands in 1866, and the importance of his writings and speeches on the subject. Zwick writes: "Much of what made Mark Twain a 'quintessentially American' writer did not start to develop in America but in the independent nation of Hawaii in 1866" (67). The subject of Hawaii influenced Mark Twain's thinking on questions of politics, human nature, and America's role in the world for decades after his visit. By tracing the evolution of his thinking on the islands, Zwick illustrates an important foundation for Twain's later views on American empire.
"Mark Twain and the Russian Revolution" discusses his first official public participation in a political cause, when Twain's opposition to the Russian Czar led him to join "The Society of Friends of Russian Freedom" in 1891. Twain wrote several pieces that roundly condemned the Russian monarchy in similar terms as his later anti-imperialist writings. Like his participation in the Anti-Imperialist League, the importance of Twain's writings on Russia have remained largely ignored in Twain studies, apart from Twain's unfortunate sponsorship of Maxim Gorky's visit to New York in 1906, when the "Mrs. Gorky" who had accompanied the Russian writer and activist was discovered to be an actress, not his wife. An essay on Mark Twain's response to the Dreyfus Affair in France further argues for Twain's ability to link abstract questions of freedom and repression with concrete examples of imperialism and racism.
For Mark Twain scholars, the centerpiece of the book will undoubtedly be the essay "'Prodigally Endowed with Sympathy for the Cause': Mark Twain's Involvement with the Anti-Imperialist League." First published in 1994, the essay recovered Twain's contributions to the Anti-Imperialist League--as a vice president of the League from 1901 to 1910, as a participant in the League's propaganda efforts, and as an essayist and speaker who used his fame to promote his political views. Twain did not take an active role in the day-to-day activities of the League, but instead used his name and his writings to express his sympathy with the cause. Twain's anti-imperialist views influenced much of his writing during his final years, in both direct pieces such as "To the Person Sitting in Darkness" and as a theme in writings such as "Extract from Captain's Stormfield's Visit to Heaven," The Mysterious Stranger, and What Is Man? (128). As Zwick points out, Mark Twain's social and political writings were often viewed with confusion by those who viewed his role as a humorist as antithetical to serious writing. This essay recontextualizes Mark Twain's political activities within the larger history of anti-imperialism at the time.
Zwick also provides two brief essays on Mark Twain's connections with various figures related to the imperialist question. The first traces out the links between Twain, the anti-imperialist writer and activist Ernest Crosby, and the illustrator Dan Beard. The second discusses the connections between Twain and Andres Bonifacio, the first leader of the Philippine Revolution, and between Twain and Winston Churchill. These two essays, while not making large historical points like other essays in this book, are interesting to read and point to the historical figures who are linked with Twain through his anti-imperial work.
The final essay of the book, "Mark Twain's Anti-Imperialist Writings in the 'American Century," traces some of the reasons why Mark Twain's anti-imperialism was forgotten in the twentieth century. The historical amnesia about Twain's anti-imperial views can be seen, in Zwick's view, as part of the larger denial of empire in American culture (156). Twain's position as a uniquely American icon makes the cultural status of his anti-imperialist writings "a good reference for understanding the contours of the public debate about imperialism in the twentieth century" (158). While he actively supported anti-imperialist causes and used the theme of anti-imperialism in many of his later writings, Twain chose not to publish certain pieces he viewed as too controversial, and his publisher, Harper and Brothers, refused to publish some that he did submit for publication. After his death, the limited picture of Twain's political views continued when Albert Bigelow Paine and Harpers chose to limit, and in some cases censor, Twain's views to protect what Paine called "the Mark Twain that we knew, the traditional Mark Twain" (166-7). Paine's official versions of Twain's biography, notebooks, letters, and other writings deleted references to subjects deemed too controversial, often specific references to imperialism, and Zwick shows how this "literary fraud" affected scholarship well into the 1970s (171).
After Paine's death in 1937, Twain's daughter Clara continued to promote a whitewashed view of Twain's writings until her death in 1962, when Twain's papers were donated to the University of California at Berkeley and the Mark Twain Project. At the same time, Mark Twain's anti-imperialist views became the subject of Cold War skirmishes between Soviet and American scholars. No longer simply a commercial question, Twain's anti-imperialist views became a matter of international politics. In the 1960s, Twain's views were used to legitimize dissent to American policies in Southeast Asia (175). This use of Mark Twain as a figure who can justify a critique of the government within political debate has continued through our day, demonstrating that the importance of Twain's role as a social critic continues into our time. Zwick does an excellent job tracing these contours over the course of the century.
Confronting Imperialism demonstrates the legacy of Jim Zwick's scholarship on Mark Twain and anti-imperialism. Zwick's 1992 book, Mark Twain's Weapons of Satire: Anti-Imperialist Writings on the Philippine-American War (Syracuse University Press), recovered and contextualized Mark Twain's writings on American intervention in the Philippines, and the book should be credited as a major contribution of the development in both Mark Twain studies and in the push to incorporate the study of nationalism and imperialism into academic disciplines. That book, in combination with Confronting Imperialism has helped restore a central element of Twain's life to scholars and to the larger reading public.
Jim Zwick's recent death from complications of diabetes is an unfortunate loss to scholars interested in Mark Twain, and based on the personal testimony of his friends on this list, a profound loss to those who knew him personally. While I never met Jim, he was kind and gracious in offering me help on several occasions and his scholarly work has influenced the direction of my own career. His work plotted new, significant directions for work on Twain and anti-imperialism that will continue to be influential for years to come.
American Studies, University of Texas, Austin