Back at the end of the 1980s, when I was a lowly teaching assistant at the Pennsylvania State University, I had the good fortune to work on an undergraduate course on the Vietnam War directed by the great Vietnam scholar William Duiker. Duiker’s course was very popular.
In 1990, immediately after UN Security Council Resolution 678 provided authorisation for the use of force to expel the Iraqi military from Kuwait President George H. W. Bush said in a news conference:
The Will to Believe examines Woodrow Wilson’s national security strategy from the beginning of the First World War in 1914 to the end of his presidency, contrasting his ideas with alternative policies offered by his political rivals.
How a country deals with enemy nationals within its territory during times of war is as much an issue today as it has ever been. In the western world these days such enemy nationals are most likely to be involved in the ‘war on terror’, and can be found masked behind a multiplicity of nationalities.
James Dickerson should be commended for tracing the theme of American concentration camps through from the 17th to the 21st century. It is all too easy to slip into the comfortable approach of examining events in isolation, when they are in fact but one more example of how a nation has failed to learn from the mistakes of its past.
7 May 1954 is a day that helped to alter the course of American history. It was on this day that French troops, under siege for two months by Ho Chi Minh’s Vietminh forces, were roundly defeated, signaling the end of France’s efforts to re-exert control over its former Southeast Asian colony. American involvement, however, was to begin to ramp up and continue for the next 21 years.
‘No one knows what George Kennan really meant [to say]!’ So did the late McGeorge Bundy, my then professor, initiate me and a half a dozen other graduate students into mystery of George Frost Kennan. I say ‘mystery’ deliberately, as both at the time and later, there was indeed something distinctly odd about two aspects of the life and career of the one-time scholar-diplomat.
Ryan Floyd’s Abandoning American Neutrality should be considered required reading about America’s entry into the First World War.
Ask Americans when their country became the world’s dominant power and chances are most will point to the hard-fought victory in the Second World War. But as Adam Tooze shows in his latest work, that shift occurred a generation earlier and before American forces had even fired a shot in what was once called the Great War.
Reviewing a historical dictionary is often a rather thankless task. Typically compiled from brief essays contributed by a variety of scholars they often lack a coherent perspective, leaving the reviewer to offer vague generalisations regarding the overall quality of the entries or selection of topics.