The publication of Amy Kaplan and Donald E. Pease's Cultures of United States Imperialism exactly thirty years ago heralded a new wave of US empire studies. Emerging in the shadow of the Persian Gulf War and through the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and subsequent occupation, this collection of essays identified the United States as an empire and drew connections between American culture and projections of US power in the world. The book and much work that followed bucked enduring views—academic and popular—of US overseas aggression circa 1898 as an aberration and US imperialism as exceptional and incomparable to European forms. In Monetary Authorities: Capitalism and Decolonization in the American Colonial Philippines, Allan E. S. Lumba builds on this scholarship while also advancing a distinct framework for his subject.

Drawing on the insights of decoloniality, Lumba approaches “economic experts” and their work of building and controlling a monetary and...

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