Bookended by remarks from African American diplomats Walter C. Carrington and Charles Stith, the essays in this volume use close readings of speeches, letters, historical archives, diaries, and memoirs of policymakers and newly available FBI files to confront much-neglected questions related to race and foreign relations in the United States. Why, for instance, did African Americans profess loyalty and support for the diplomatic initiatives of a nation that undermined their social, political, and economic well-being through racist policies and cultural practices? Other contributions explore African Americans' history in the diplomatic and consular services and the influential roles of cultural ambassadors like Joe Louis and Louis Armstrong. The volume concludes with an analysis of the effects on race and foreign policy in the administration of Barack Obama.
Groundbreaking and critical, African Americans in U.S. Foreign Policy expands on the scope and themes of recent collections to offer the most up-to-date scholarship to students in a range of disciplines, including U.S. and African American history, Africana studies, political science, and American studies.
When the United States goes to war, the nation’s attention focuses on the president. As commander in chief, a president reaches the zenith of power, while Congress is supposedly shunted to the sidelines once troops have been deployed abroad. Because of Congress’s repeated failure to exercise its legislative powers to rein in presidents, many have proclaimed its irrelevance in military matters.
After the Rubicon challenges this conventional wisdom by illuminating the diverse ways in which legislators influence the conduct of military affairs. Douglas L. Kriner reveals that even in politically sensitive wartime environments, individual members of Congress frequently propose legislation, hold investigative hearings, and engage in national policy debates in the public sphere. These actions influence the president’s strategic decisions as he weighs the political costs of pursuing his preferred military course.
Marshalling a wealth of quantitative and historical evidence, Kriner expertly demonstrates the full extent to which Congress materially shapes the initiation, scope, and duration of major military actions and sheds new light on the timely issue of interbranch relations.
For more than sixty years, George F. Kennan’s American Diplomacy has been a standard work on American foreign policy. Drawing on his considerable diplomatic experience and expertise, Kennan offers an overview and critique of the foreign policy of an emerging great power whose claims to rightness often spill over into self-righteousness, whose ambitions conflict with power realities, whose judgmentalism precludes the interests of other states, and whose domestic politics frequently prevent prudent policies and result in overstretch. Keenly aware of the dangers of military intervention and the negative effects of domestic politics on foreign policy, Kennan identifies troubling inconsistencies in the areas between actions and ideals—even when the strategies in question turned out to be decided successes.
In this expanded sixtieth-anniversary edition, a substantial new introduction by John J. Mearsheimer, one of America’s leading political realists, provides new understandings of Kennan’s work and explores its continued resonance. As America grapples with its new role as one power among many—rather than as the “indispensable nation” that sees “further into the future”—Kennan’s perceptive analysis of the past is all the more relevant. Today, as then, the pressing issue of how to wield power with prudence and responsibility remains, and Kennan’s cautions about the cost of hubris are still timely. Refreshingly candid, American Diplomacy cuts to the heart of policy issues that continue to be hotly debated today.
“These celebrated lectures, delivered at the University of Chicago in 1950, were for many years the most widely read account of American diplomacy in the first half of the twentieth century.”—Foreign Affairs, Significant Books of the Last 75 Years
An American Diplomat in Bolshevik Russia
DeWitt Clinton Poole, Edited by Lorraine M. Lees and William S. Rodner University of Wisconsin Press, 2014 Library of Congress DK266.5.P66 2014 | Dewey Decimal 327.73047092
Diplomat DeWitt Clinton Poole arrived for a new job at the United States consulate office in Moscow in September 1917, just two months before the Bolshevik Revolution. In the final year of World War I, as Russians were withdrawing and Americans were joining the war, Poole found himself in the midst of political turmoil in Russia. U.S. relations with the newly declared Soviet Union rapidly deteriorated as civil war erupted and as Allied forces intervened in northern Russia and Siberia. Thirty-five years later, in the climate of the Cold War, Poole recounted his experiences as a witness to that era in a series of interviews.
Historians Lorraine M. Lees and William S. Rodner introduce and annotate Poole's recollections, which give a fresh, firsthand perspective on monumental events in world history and reveal the important impact DeWitt Clinton Poole (1885–1952) had on U.S.–Soviet relations. He was active in implementing U.S. policy, negotiating with the Bolshevik authorities, and supervising American intelligence operations that gathered information about conditions throughout Russia, especially monitoring anti-Bolshevik elements and areas of German influence. Departing Moscow in late 1918 via Petrograd, he was assigned to the port of Archangel, then occupied by Allied and American forces, and left Russia in June 1919.
Andrew J. BACEVICH Harvard University Press, 2002 Library of Congress E183.7.B284 2002 | Dewey Decimal 327.73
In a challenging, provocative book, Andrew Bacevich reconsiders the assumptions and purposes governing the exercise of American global power. Examining the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton--as well as George W. Bush's first year in office--he demolishes the view that the United States has failed to devise a replacement for containment as a basis for foreign policy. He finds instead that successive post-Cold War administrations have adhered to a well-defined "strategy of openness." Motivated by the imperative of economic expansionism, that strategy aims to foster an open and integrated international order, thereby perpetuating the undisputed primacy of the world's sole remaining superpower. Moreover, openness is not a new strategy, but has been an abiding preoccupation of policymakers as far back as Woodrow Wilson.
Although based on expectations that eliminating barriers to the movement of trade, capital, and ideas nurtures not only affluence but also democracy, the aggressive pursuit of openness has met considerable resistance. To overcome that resistance, U.S. policymakers have with increasing frequency resorted to force, and military power has emerged as never before as the preferred instrument of American statecraft, resulting in the progressive militarization of U.S. foreign policy.
Neither indictment nor celebration, American Empire sees the drive for openness for what it is--a breathtakingly ambitious project aimed at erecting a global imperium. Large questions remain about that project's feasibility and about the human, financial, and moral costs that it will entail. By penetrating the illusions obscuring the reality of U.S. policy, this book marks an essential first step toward finding the answers.
Table of Contents:
Introduction 1. The Myth of the Reluctant Superpower 2. Globalization and Its Conceits 3. Policy by Default 4. Strategy of Openness 5. Full Spectrum Dominance 6. Gunboats and Gurkhas 7. Rise of the Proconsuls 8. Different Drummers, Same Drum 9. War for the Imperium
Notes Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: [A] straightforward "critical interpretation of American statecraft in the 1990s"...he is straightforward, too, in establishing where he stands on the political spectrum about US foreign policy...Bacevich insists that there are no differences in the key assumptions governing the foreign policy of the administrations of Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II--and this will certainly be the subject of passionate debate...Bacevich's argument persuades...by means of engaging prose as well as the compelling and relentless accumulation of detail...Bring[s] badly needed [perspective] to troubled times. --James A. Miller, Boston Globe
Reviews of this book: For everyone there's Andrew Bacevich's American Empire, an intelligent, elegantly written, highly convincing polemic that demonstrates how the motor of US foreign policy since independence has been the need to guarantee economic growth. --Dominick Donald, The Guardian
Reviews of this book: Andrew Bacevich's remarkably clear, cool-headed, and enlightening book is an expression of the United States' unadmitted imperial primacy. It's as bracing as a plunge into a clear mountain lake after exposure to the soporific internationalist conventional wisdom...Bacevich performs an invaluable service by restoring missing historical context and perspective to today's shallow, hand-wringing discussion of Sept. 11...Bacevich's brave, intelligent book restores our vocabulary to debate anew the United States' purpose in the world. --Richard J. Whalen, Across the Board
Reviews of this book: To say that Andrew Bacevich's American Empire is a truly realistic work of realism is therefore to declare it not only a very good book, but also a pretty rare one. The author, a distinguished former soldier, combines a tough-minded approach to the uses of military force with a grasp of American history that is both extremely knowledgeable and exceptionally clear-sighted. This book is indispensable for anyone who wants to understand the background to U.S. world hegemony at the start of the 21st century; and it is also a most valuable warning about the dangers into which the pursuit and maintenance of this hegemony may lead America. --Anatol Levin, Washington Monthly
Reviews of this book: American Empire is an immensely thoughtful book. Its reflections go beyond the narrow realm of U.S. security policy and demonstrate a deep understanding of American history and culture. --David Hastings Dunn, Political Studies Review
I have long suspected our nation's triumphs and trials owed much to the American genius for solipsism and self-deception. Bacevich has convinced me of it by holding up a mirror to self-styled idealists and realists alike. Read all the books you want about the post-Cold War, post-9/11 world, just be sure American Empire is one of them. --Walter A. McDougall, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, University of Pennsylvania
This deeply informed, impressive polemical book is precisely what Americans, in and outside of the academy, needed before 9/11 and need now even more. Crisp, lively, biting prose will help them enjoy it. Among its many themes are hubris, hegemony, and the fatuousness of claims by the American military that they can now achieve 'transparency' in war-making. --Michael S. Sherry, Northwestern University
The United States could not possibly have an empire, Americans think. But we do. And with verve and telling insight Andrew Bacevich shows how it works and what it means. --Ronald Steel, author of Temptations of a Superpower: America's Foreign Policy after the Cold War
The end of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the USSR produced strikingly little enthusiasm in the United States. The political energy absorbed for forty years by American-Soviet relations left America no triumphant, but reflective, turning inward with a general sense of national decline. American politics and policy have met the rapid changes in the new global order with alarming slowness and inflexibility.
In this book, fourteen leading political scientists ask two basic questions. What effect did the cold war have on American institutions and politics? And how will American politics evolve now? The first section of the volume focuses on institutions-the presidency, Congress, federalism. The second explores politics-ideologies, public opinion, and the American party system. The third section tackles important policy areas: the budget, social issues, education, foreign policy, trade, and immigration.
Contributors: Joel D. Aberbach; Tobias Dürr; Andreas Falke; Adrienne Héritier; Peter Lösche; Theodore J. Lowi; Heinz-Dieter Meyer; Demetrios G. Papademetriou; Paul E. Peterson; Bert A. Rockman; James Thurber; David B. Walker; and the editors.
Between December 1953 and June 1954, the elite think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) joined prominent figures in International Relations, including Pennsylvania’s Robert Strausz-Hupé, Yale’s Arnold Wolfers, the Rockefeller Foundation’s William Thompson, government adviser Dorothy Fosdick, and nuclear strategist William Kaufmann. They spent seven meetings assessing approaches to world politics—from the “realist” theory of Hans Morgenthau to theories of imperialism of Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin—to discern basic elements of a theory of international relations.
The study group’s materials are an indispensable window to the development of IR theory, illuminating the seeds of the theory-practice nexus in Cold War U.S. foreign policy. Historians of International Relations recently revised the standard narrative of the field’s origins, showing that IR witnessed a sharp turn to theoretical consideration of international politics beginning around 1950, and remained preoccupied with theory. Taking place in 1953–54, the CFR study group represents a vital snapshot of this shift.
This book situates the CFR study group in its historical and historiographical contexts, and offers a biographical analysis of the participants. It includes seven preparatory papers on diverse theoretical approaches, penned by former Berkeley political scientist George A. Lipsky, followed by the digest of discussions from the study group meetings. American Power and International Theory at the Council on Foreign Relations, 1953–54 offers new insights into the early development of IR as well as the thinking of prominent elites in the early years of the Cold War.
The idea that a Senator—Republican or Democrat—would put the greater good of the country ahead of party seems nearly impossible to imagine in our current climate of gridlock and divisiveness. But this hasn’t always been the case. Arthur H. Vandenberg (1884–1951), Republican from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the model of a consensus builder, and the coalitions he spearheaded continue to form the foundation of American foreign and domestic policy today. Edward R. Murrow called him “the central pivot of the entire era,” yet, despite his significance, Vandenberg has never received the full public attention he is due—until now. With this authoritative biography, Hendrik Meijer reveals how Vandenberg built and nurtured the bipartisan consensus that created the American Century.
Originally the editor and publisher of the Grand Rapids Herald, Vandenberg was appointed and later elected to the Senate in 1928, where he became an outspoken opponent of the New Deal and a leader among the isolationists who resisted FDR’s efforts to aid European allies at the onset of World War II. But Vandenberg soon recognized the need for unity at the dawn of a new world order; and as a Republican leader, he worked closely with Democratic administrations to build the strong bipartisan consensus that established the Marshall Plan, the United Nations, and NATO. Vandenberg, as Meijer reveals, was instrumental in organizing Congressional support for these monumental twentieth-century foreign policy decisions.
Vandenberg’s life and career offer powerful lessons for today, and Meijer has given us a story that suggests an antidote to our current democratic challenges. After reading this poignant biography, many will ask: Where is the Vandenberg of today?