Foreword Reviews

America Invades

How We've Invaded or Been Militarily Involved with Almost Every Country on Earth

2014 INDIES Finalist
Finalist, War & Military (Adult Nonfiction)

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

This informative yet entertaining history text presents a factual account of United States military involvement throughout the world.

In America Invades, Christopher Kelly and Stuart Laycock delve into all types of US military foreign interaction; everything from territorial acquisition to devastating war to beneficial assistance, even touching lightly on cultural indoctrination.

Alphabetically listed, every country the US has ever entered on a battle mission or in an official capacity makes an appearance in this well-researched reference tool. Backed by maps, glossy photographs, charts, a glossary, and an index, the knowledgeable authors provide essential details without overwhelming the narrative with unnecessary repetition or opinionated commentary.

The artwork on the cover is misleading, and a visual attack on the senses; its shocking depiction of Uncle Sam grasping a U.S. flag, with warplanes overhead and armed soldiers beneath, looks like a prelude to hard-hitting criticism. It’s not.

This concise book is pro-American without being ethnocentric—five percent of sales proceeds will go to military charities. It is written from a critical angle in a conversational style that veers into occasional off-the-cuff remarks to lighten the serious tone with dark (perhaps inappropriate) humor. “Among other interesting facts about Romania, you can find Transylvania there, legendary home of vampires and actual birthplace of Vlad Dracula, who also had the not very cuddly nickname Vlad the Impaler.”

Anyone but a history aficionado will be astounded at the extent of the United States’ involvement overseas. Packed with expected material pertaining to major conflicts and global wars, as well as a considerable amount of unexpected trivia, the overall impression will vary dramatically depending on political standpoint or national perspective. Since this subject is a hot topic for analysis and debate, information contained in these pages will provoke either sincere admiration or adamant disapproval. In the end, it may boil down to whether a country benefited or suffered as a result of US intervention.

Christopher Kelly, a retired television executive with a passion for military history, earned a degree from UC-Berkeley. Stuart Laycock is the author of several history books in the UK, with a diverse background in advertising and marketing, as well as TV. Even an avid history buff will learn something from the book—a little-known tidbit or a frequently ignored fact—making Kelly and Laycock’s work a worthwhile read. The authors’ involvement in television lends an attention-grabbing tone to the writing, steering the content away from academia and toward a mainstream audience. This compilation of data required extensive education, time, and diligence.

Regardless of whether an individual approaches the text with a patriotic or non-patriotic viewpoint, no preconceived judgment will detract from the value of the reading experience.

Reviewed by Julia Ann Charpentier

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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