Spring 2015 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Rabe, Steve
Discipline and Number
HIST 3369 Section 001
MW Time 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Course Title
United States Foreign Relations

Description of Course:

U.S. diplomatic history constitutes much more than the exchange of formal correspondence among leaders or the administrative steps through which a policy travels. Traditions, “lessons of history,” missionary zeal, gender bias, racism, and ideology join with economic expansionism and the drive for security to make the United States the leading actor on the global stage in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

HIST 3369 will discuss these concerns by analyzing U.S. relations with Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Soviet Russia. Topics of special interest will include: atomic diplomacy and the nuclear arms race; the power of public opinion in foreign affairs; the uses of military and economic aid; trade and investment relationships with developing nations; the roles of the business community and the CIA in the policy-making process; the background and training of foreign-policy elites; the roots of U.S. involvement in world wars, Korea, and Vietnam; international trade and globalization; Afghanistan, Iraq and the U.S. war against terrorism.

The format of the class will be lectures with frequent discussions. We will also be viewing documentary films.

Required Texts:

(All paperbacks)
George C. Herring, From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776.
J. Samuel Walker, Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of the Atomic Bombs against Japan.
Don Munton and David Welch, The Cuban Missile Crisis. 2nd edition.
Stephen G. Rabe, The Killing Zone: The United States Wages Cold War in Latin America.
David Finkel, The Good Soldiers.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

The student will be asked to purchase five paperbacks. Written work will consist of three (3-4 page) critical essays, and two examinations. Students may submit additional critical essays in order to improve their grades.

The final grade will be based on instructor’s evaluation of student’s entire effort (written work, class participation, class attendance) in class.

The instructor gives the highest priority to class attendance. Students are expected to attend class regularly and participate in class activities. HIST 3369 is not a correspondence course. Students will not receive credit for the course, unless they attend class regularly. Attendance will be taken at each class. Attendance is MANDATORY.

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