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Rethinking American Grand Strategy
May 6 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
A Preview Interview with Dr. Christopher Nichols
A Preview Interview with Dr. Andrew Preston
A Preview Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Engel
A wide-ranging rethinking of the many factors that comprise the making of American Grand Strategy.
What is grand strategy? What does it aim to achieve? And what differentiates it from normal strategic thought–what, in other words, makes it “grand”? In answering these questions, most scholars have focused on diplomacy and warfare, so much so that “grand strategy” has become almost an equivalent of “military history.” The traditional attention paid to military affairs is understandable, but in today’s world it leaves out much else that could be considered political, and therefore strategic. It is in fact possible to consider, and even reach, a more capacious understanding of grand strategy, one that still includes the battlefield and the negotiating table while expanding beyond them. Just as contemporary world politics is driven by a wide range of non-military issues, the most thorough considerations of grand strategy must consider the bases of peace and security–including gender, race, the environment, and a wide range of cultural, social, political, and economic issues.
Rethinking American Grand Strategy assembles a roster of leading historians to examine America’s place in the world. Its innovative chapters re-examine familiar figures, such as John Quincy Adams, George Kennan, and Henry Kissinger, while also revealing the forgotten episodes and hidden voices of American grand strategy. They expand the scope of diplomatic and military history by placing the grand strategies of public health, race, gender, humanitarianism, and the law alongside military and diplomatic affairs to reveal hidden strategists as well as strategies.
Christopher McKnight Nichols is Director of the Center for the Humanities and Associate Professor of History at Oregon State University and the author of Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age.
Andrew Preston is Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge and the author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy and American Foreign Relations: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2019), among other books.