History 461                                                                                                              Richard H. Immerman
Studies in Diplomatic History                                                                                Gladfelter 909
Spring 2002                                                                                                             1-7466/610-645-5436
TUCC—Tuesday, 7:45-9:45                                                                                   rimmerma@temple.edu
 
 

For more than two decades the field of U.S. Diplomatic History, or what its practitioners prefer to call the History of U.S. Foreign Relations, has undergone intense introspection and self-criticism. The objective has been to reinvigorate the discipline by reducing the alleged "sterility" associated with the Rankean tradition. Without claiming this goal has been achieved, progress toward it is manifestly evident. Exploiting archives in many different lands and languages, contemporary scholars are asking new questions and applying interdisciplinary methodologies and innovative conceptual frameworks to their investigations. These efforts have generated great excitement while at the same time expanding the parameters of--some would argue transforming and even redefining--the field itself. The end of the cold war and fluidity of today's international environment (even before 911) has provided further impetus to this phenomenon.
 

The intention of this course, accordingly, is to broaden your familiarity with the historiography as well as the history of U.S. foreign relations. To begin this process you will all become intimately acquainted with the essays in Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations. Collectively, they represent neither a manual or recipe book (indeed, a revised edition is scheduled for publication this calendar year). They should, however, stimulate your own thinking--and imagination--about what has, should, can, and will be written. Each of you will select, or I will assign, one of these "think pieces," about which you will prepare a five-to-ten-minute oral presentation at our next--January 29--meeting. You should evaluate what you consider the pros and cons of the author’s diagnoses and prescriptions, and if possible, suggest what (if any) subject areas you believe might lend themselves to the type of approach s/he recommends.

The subsequent session, on February 5, will launch our tour of the history of U.S. foreign policy. Please note the tour's chronological parameters. This semester's focus is on the pre-cold war years. With that in mind, commencing with this class and extending to the semester's end, two or three of you (depending on class size) will read, in addition to the book assigned to everyone, one the others listed each week on the syllabus. In other words, for that week the "chosen" few will read two books. S/he will in 750 words review critically (c.f. the brief guide on "How to Write a Book Review" is available on the course's web page; the url is http://astro.temple.edu/~rimmerma/02his461.html)  the selection (comparing it, when appropriate, to the one we all read and any other works that come to mind). Please be sure to check the library for the book you will review in ample time for me, should it not be available (a not uncommon occurrence at Temple) and I not own a copy, to provide you with a substitute title.

These reviews will provide the basis for an approximately fifteen-minute oral presentation in which each presenter will have the opportunity to supplement his/her review by providing illustrations from the book as well as to clarify or expand upon criticisms and arguments. The guide to writing a book review is a general guide--nothing more. Feel free to follow your own instincts, as long as you do not end up writing a book report. The only other proscriptions are misspellings, mistakes in grammar, contractions, and passive voice.  Copies of this and all future reviews should be made for each class member. I have arranged to open a file at the circulation desk in the TUCC library, where copies of the review should be deposited at least one hour (e.g., by 6:45) before our class meets. In the best of all possible worlds, however, you should e-mail your reviews to me and the remainder of the class by 4:30 that afternoon. Earlier, of course, is even better.

This distribution and deadline is particularly critical for the week's designated "commentators." What I mean by "commentators" is that, similar to the convention at scholarly meetings, class members assigned to "comment" will take about 10 minutes to analyze critically the review by pointing out the strengths and weaknesses (of both the review and the book) and by posing questions about the subject matter, arguments, sources, methodology, etc. Because the commentator probably has (and need) not read the work(s) under review, I will, if and when warranted, inject points of information and clarification.

Further clarification will be provided during the "audience participation" portion of the "panel" which will follow the presentations.  The "audience" (class) will be well informed because you all will have read the "globally-assigned" book and written a one-page review of it (those reviewing the week's supplementary/complementary books must read but need not write a review of the globally-assigned one). I will grade all reviews "excellent," "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" ("check +", “check", or "check -"). Needless to say, failure to submit reviews on time will adversely affect the quality of the commentaries and general discussion; thus I will not take kindly to such behavior. You will pay the price.

The final assignment will be a comparative review essay of four books (excluding those already reviewed in class). It should run eight to twelve double-spaced pages.  The selections are yours to make and should, of course, be related to one another in some manner. I encourage you to base your choices on a theme, topic, or even individual that is of interest to you and/or is valuable for your respective areas of research. As part of the assignment, I want you to develop a list of six books that you consider potentially appropriate for your comparative review essay, using the library, on-line data bases, bibliographies, historiographic essays, footnotes from related works, or any other means--just as you would if I asked you to prepare a research paper. I will evaluate your list after you have compiled it and together we will pare it down to four books. For this reason let's agree that you will bounce your proposals off me. Because the papers will be due (at my office on main campus)  no later than 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, you should make an appointment with me, either at TUCC or the Main Campus, no later than April 9.  When we meet we can also discuss your performance and progress. In order that you can plan ahead, jot down on your calendar now that the class will meet for a final time at my house on Sunday, May 19, where we can collectively break bread to celebrate how far we have journeyed together.

On a more mundane level, as a normative guideline I will base your course grade on an even division between your written and oral work. I may reward exceptional performance in one area by giving it extra weight in my calculations; don't count on it, however. Hence never rest on your laurels.  And FYI, I am a fanatic when it comes to class participation. The success of any graduate course is contingent on the collective contributions of everyone. If you are uncomfortable speaking out, or for that matter encounter any other problems, see me sooner rather than later. Under any circumstances, feel free to check with me whenever the spirit moves you.

Required Reading (available at the TUCC Bookstore)
 

Hogan, Michael & Thomas Paterson, Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations
Gilbert, Felix, To the Farewell Address
Kaplan, Lawrence, Thomas Jefferson
Nagel, Pau.l, John Quincy Adams
Stephanson, Anders, Manifest Destiny
Ninkovich, Frank, The United States and Imperialism
Hunt, Michael, The Making of a Special Relationship
Renda, Mary, Taking Haiti
Kendrick, A. Clements, Woodrow Wilson
Iriye, Akira, The Globalizing of America
Dallek, Robert, Franklin D. Roosevelt
Gallicchio, Marc, The African American Encounter With Japan and China
Walker, J. Samuel, Prompt and Utter Destruction

Schedule of Sessions
 

January 22    Introduction

January 29

Class Reading:  Hogan and Paterson

Reviews:   Individual essays

Commentaries:  Everyone
 

February 5

Class Reading:  Gilbert

Reviews: Bemis, Sam Flagg, Diplomacy of the Am. Rev.
Marks, Frederick, Independence on Trial
Morris, Richard, The Peacemakers

Commentaries:


 

February 12

Class Reading:  Kaplan

Reviews:   Combs, Jerald, The Jay Treaty
Horsman, Reginald, Expansion and American Indian Policy
Tucker Robert W., and David C. Hendrickson, Empire of Liberty

Commentaries:
 
 
 

February 19

Class Reading:  Nagel  (and Weeks essay)

Reviews:   Johnson, John, A Hemisphere Apart
Stagg, J. C., Mr. Madison's War
Weeks, William, John Quincy Adams and American Global Empire

Commentaries:
 
 

February 26

Class Reading:  Stephanson (and Brauer essay)

Reviews:  Graebner, Norman, Empire on the Pacific
Haynes, Sam, James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse
Hietala, Thomas, Manifest Design

Commentaries:
 

March 5

Class Reading:  Ninkovich (and Crapol essay)

Reviews:   LaFeber, Walter, The New Empire
May, Ernest, Imperial Democracy
McFerson, Hazel, The Racial Dimension of American Overseas Colonial Policy
Perez, Louis, War of 1898

Commentaries:
 

March 12 Spring Recess
 

March 19

Class Reading:  Hunt

Reviews:   Beale, Howard, Theodore Roosevelt
Henning, Joseph, Outposts of Civilization
Hoganson, Kristen, Fighting for American Manhood

Commentaries:

March 26

Class Reading:  Renda

Reviews:   Calder, Bruce, The Impact of Intervention
Rosenberg, Emily, Financial Missionaries to the World
Schoonover, Thomas, United States and Central America

Commentaries:
 

April 2

Class Reading:  Clements

Reviews: Ambrosius, Lloyd, Wilson and Diplomatic Tradition
Cooper, John Milton, Breaking the Heart of the World
Levin, N. Gordon, Woodrow Wilson
Widenor, William, Henry Cabot Lodge

Commentaries:
 
 

April 9

Class Reading:  Iriye

Reviews:   Costigliola, Frank, Awkward Dominion
Dingman, Roger, Power in the Pacific
Fogelsong, David, America’s Secret War against Bolshevism
Hogan, Michael, Informal Entente
 

Commentaries:
 

April 16

Class Reading:  Dallek

Reviews:   Heinrichs, Waldo, Threshold of War
Thorne, Christopher, Limits of Foreign Policy
Reynolds, David, Creation of the Anglo-American Alliance
 

Commentaries:
 

April 23

Class Reading:  Gallicchio

Reviews: Dower, John, War Without Mercy
Kimball, Warren, Forged in War
Stoler, Mark, Allies and Adversaries

Commentaries:
 
 
 

April 30

Class Reading:  Walker

Reviews: Alperovitz, Gar, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb
Maddox, Robert, Weapons for Victory
Sherwin, Martin, A World Destroyed
 

Commentaries: