AMERICANS consider themselves a peaceful people. Yet every generation since colonial times has taken part in war. Why? Does something in our democratic creed lead us repeatedly into hostilities? Does the American sense of mission demand that we take up arms to transform the world into our own image? Do baser motives drive national policy? Is there, in short, a distinctive American motive and style of war?Distinguished diplomatic historian Robert A. Divine considers these questions in a thoughtful retrospective of the wars of the twentieth century. Repeatedly, Divine concludes, America seeks to use warfare to create a better and more stable world, only to meet with unexpected outcomes and the seeds of new hostility. Ironically, Divine finds that America's high ideals continually prevent the very peace the nation seeks.