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Magoc authors book on American expansion overseas

Monday, January 4, 2016

A four-volume encyclopedia about American imperialism three years in the making will be the sixth published book for Dr. Chris J. Magoc, professor of history at Mercyhurst University.

Imperialism and Expansionism in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection, written and edited by Magoc and Dr. David Bernstein, a visiting professor of history at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, chronicles the history of American continental and overseas expansion, and the related evolution of the United States’ interventionist foreign policy.

It is available for purchase through Amazon.

“The encyclopedia is multi-disciplinary in scope, offering readers key insights on the intersection of culture, social and political change with the projection of U.S. military power,” said Magoc. “This is one of the most important topics in American history, one with great significance for our own time.” 

The encyclopedia covers more than 650 topics, including colonial and frontier-era diplomatic relations and wars with Native American tribes through the emergence of a global imperialist foreign policy at the turn of the twentieth century.

Nearly 200 scholars produced entries on key historical figures, important legislation, monumental speeches, Native American tribes and wars, international wars, court operations, cultural works of fiction, music and film — all related in some way to the history of American expansion, imperialism, anti-war movements and the central role of global economic interests.   

Magoc believes the encyclopedia offers a reference tool for not only understanding the history that led to American hegemony, but also pondering its implications today. 

“It is critical for Americans to examine how the United States — a nation whose founders urged it to remain a modest republic — became a world power with more than 1,000 military installations or bases in nearly 80 countries around the world,” said Magoc.

Several members of the Mercyhurst History Department also contributed to the project. Dr. Kristin Collins-Breyfogle, assistant professor of history, and students Keven Gregg and Kristin Apeck each wrote several entries for the encyclopedia. History majors and research assistants Chelsea Morris and Mohammad Al-Bidhawi helped organize entries, contributors, bibliographies and glossaries.

Magoc is currently working on his seventh book about post-1945 American history, and his eighth, an environmental history of Pennsylvania.

He has previously published books about the early history of Yellowstone National Park, two anthologies on American environmental history, a chronology of U.S environmental history and a guidebook for the U.S. Brig Niagara and the Maritime Museum in Erie.

For more information about Imperialism and Expansionism in American History, visit or contact Chris Magoc at 814-824-2075.