For most of history, most of mankind has either lived under imperial rule or has wanted to; or has been locked in struggle with empire. It is true today. In this, the supposed age of democracy, both China and the Soviet Union have imperial governments. Both are expanding; between them they encompass more than half the populations of the world. Nor are things so stable at home. Many books, written by liberal and conservative alike, note the drift of the United States toward imperial forms. The President of the United States holds, with his red and gold telephones, control of more power than was ever held by any man throughout history.Blessing or curse, savior or destroyer: the shadow of empire falls across the Earth even in this enlightened age.