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Historiography of American Foreign Policy History during the
Transcript of Historiography of American Foreign Policy History during the
What is historiography?
Nationalist perspective - Samuel Flagg Bemis
Progressive historians - Charles Beard
Origins of the Cold War
Orthodoxy with sources?
Focused on state-to-state relations
Basic thesis is usually that both the U.S. and the USSR had a stake in the outbreak of the Cold War
State of the field today
New Cold War history from the late 1990s - opening of eastern archives - internationalization
Cultural turn and proliferation of topical focal points
Different perspectives on how to understand and interpret history
Different ways of "showing" history
Can change over time -
each generation writes its own history...
Celebrating growth of American power
Beginnings of political realism
Intellectual background for U.S. policy
Domestic roots (esp. economic) of policy
Change and conflict
Orthodox/traditionalists: Soviet Union caused the Cold War (most prominent during the 1940s and 1950s)
Links to realist historians (George Kennan, Hans Morgenthau etc.) and links to Bemis and the nationalists
Prominent historians in this category: Arthur Schlesinger and Herbert Feis
Early writers, limited primary source material available
Revisionism: U.S. caused the outbreak of the Cold War (from the 1960s - heavily influenced by the Vietnam War)
Links to progressives
Prominent historians: William Appleman Williams and Lloyd Gardner
Limited source material
Prominent historians: John Lewis Gaddis, Geir Lundestad, Melvyn Leffler