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Rethinking American Grand Strategy

May 6, 2021 @ 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

Rethinking American Grand Strategy: Borgwardt, Elizabeth, Nichols, Christopher McKnight, Preston, Andrew: 9780190695675: Amazon.com: BooksA 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.

Further Reading

Here, you’ll find more resources to feed your interest in the topics covered at this event.

Engel, J. (2017). Trump should try quiet diplomacy. It’s how Bush 41 avoided real war after the Cold War. USAToday. Retrieved May 19, 2021 from https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/11/07/trump-should-try-quiet-deals-they-helped-bush-avoid-real-war-after-cold-war-jeffery-engel-column/836506001/
Grunstein, J. (2021). The Five C’s of Biden’s Foreign Policy. World Politics Review. Retrieved May 20, 2021 from https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/29589/with-biden-s-foreign-policy-u-s-is-back-in-the-diplomacy-game
Mulligan, K., Schmitt, A., and Cicarelli, S. (2021). The First 100 Days: Analyzing the Biden Administration’s Foreign Policy Successes and Opportunities for the Next Year. The Center for American Progress. Retrieved May 20, 2021 from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/news/2021/05/06/499245/first-100-days-analyzing-biden-administrations-foreign-policy-successes-opportunities-next-year/
Nichols, C. (2015). Promise And Peril: America At The Dawn Of A Global Age. Harvard University Press.
Preston, A. (2019). American Foreign Relations: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
Preston, A. (2018). President Trump claims national security requires tariffs. That’s not as strange as it sounds. Washington Post. Retrieved May 19, 2021 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/08/17/president-trump-claims-national-security-requires-tariffs-thats-not-as-strange-as-it-sounds/


May 6, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category: