As the American imperial project in the Pacific World grew at the end of the nineteenth century, so too did the American security and intelligence state, argues Dr. Moon-Ho Jung in Menace to Empire: Anticolonial Solidarities and the Transpacific Origins of the US Security State (U California Press, 2022). Jung, Harry Bridges Endowed Chair of Labor Studies and professor of history at the University of Washington, connects the American Pacific coast to Hawai'i, the Philippines, Japan, and Korea, as American officials perceived threats to American hegemony and white supremacy anywhere anticolonial activism could be found. Under the guise of "sedition," the United States grew its security apparatus in response to perceived threats of radicalism, not primarily from Europe, but from Pacific regions which were increasingly agitating against American empire building. Jung asks readers to shift their perspective when thinking about American anti-communism, and consider connections between the American West and the wider Pacific as part of one, larger, intellectual and political whole.
Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.