HIS 381 • COLD WAR
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
This course aims to introduce graduate students to the historiography of the Cold War, possibly to prepare them for research in this field. The seminar is focused on the United States but is not strictly a course in American history. We will view the Cold War as a multinational, transcultural phenomenon, and students from a wide variety of disciplines and geographical specializations are welcome. For the first few weeks, the seminar will consider the evolution of Cold War history from the first scholarly works in the 1950s until the early 1990s, tracing the development of the "orthodox," "revisionist," and "post-revisionist" schools of thought about the Cold War's origins and the nature of U.S. decision-making. The course will then examine the three most important recent trends in Cold War scholarship. First, it will consider several works that draw on newly available archival sources from the Soviet bloc, China, Vietnam, and elsewhere. Second, the course will examine several works that link foreign policy with domestic politics, especially in the United States. Finally, the class will explore scholarship emphasizing culture and ideology in explaining international decision-making.
Required texts will likely include some or all of the following: John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know; George F. Kennan, American Diplomacy; Piero Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions; Brenda Gayle Plummer, Rising Wind; Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors; Vladislav Zubok, A Failed Empire; Christopher Endy, Cold War Holidays; and Brad Simpson, Economists with Guns.