Spring 2015 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Rabe, Steve
Discipline and Number
HIST 6326 Section 501
M Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
U.S. 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 6326 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 policy-making processes; 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 discussion and debate. We will also be viewing documentary films.

Required Texts:

George Herring, From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776.
Dennis Merrill and Thomas Paterson, Major Problems in American Foreign Relations. Vol. II: Since 1914. 7th ed.
Louis A. Perez, The War of 1898.
Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine, Arc of Empire: America's Wars in Asia.
Stephen G. Rabe, The Killing Zone: The United States Wages Cold War in Latin America.
Samuel Walker, Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs.
Melvyn Leffler, For the Soul of Mankind: The U.S., Soviet Union, and the Cold War.
Philip Caputo, A Rumor of War.
David Finkel, The Good Soldiers.
Lloyd Gardner, The Killing Machine: The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Faithful attendance at seminar sessions; vigorous and informed participation in seminar discussions; submission of a series (8-12) of short (1,000 -1,250 word) papers based on assigned readings. Final grade will be based on instructor’s evaluation of student's entire effort in class.

Class attendance is essential and critical to good academic performance in a graduate seminar. Students must also complete each reading assignment on time in order to facilitate seminar discussions.

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