American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam examines the influence on post-Vietnam U.S. foreign policy of the belief in American exceptionalism - the notion that the U.S. is an extraordinary nation with a special role to play in human history, not only unique but superior among nations. Trevor B. McCrisken argues that although belief in American exceptionalism was shaken, it survived the trauma of Vietnam and continued to influence foreign policy in the Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations. Exceptionalist beliefs consistently provided the framework for foreign policy discourse under each President, but the legacy of Vietnam also placed limits on the conduct of foreign affairs. The foreign policy and rhetoric of each post-Vietnam administration is analysed with a particular focus on U.S. interventions in Grenada, Panama, the Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo and elsewhere. The connections between the Vietnam syndrome and the belief in American exceptionalism are also explored.

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