A Far-From-Exhaustive American Foreign Relations Reading List

It’s that time of year again… Football is coming back, the leaves will soon start changing color, and my anxiety level and hatred of undergrads starts to spike again school begins again. Entering my second year of grad school, I realize that my already not-so-prolific blogging will likely become even less frequent in the coming months. Not only do I have to finish my coursework and assistant teach this year, I also have make significant progress in every grad student’s favorite pastime: comps reading.

I do plan on continuing to blog throughout the semester, but it will probably be far less often than I would like. With that in mind, I thought I would close out the summer by sharing a small portion of what I will endure over the next twelve months with all two of my loyal readers (hi, dad!). Below is the reading list for my major field of study, the history of American foreign relations. The list is far from exhaustive, but my advisor, one of the top historians in the field, was pleased with what I put together and that’s good enough for me. The list is heavily weighted toward the Cold War and the national security aspects of U.S. foreign policy since those are my areas of interest. However, the list does cover the length of American history back to the founding of the Republic and encompasses multiple approaches to the subject. Finally, all members of my exam committee suggested using a survey text to supplement the monographs on the list. I chose George C. Herring’s From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776, which I would recommend for anyone interested in the subject who is looking for a (lengthy) overview.

So, without further ado, here is my American foreign relations reading list:

Surveys

Immerman, Richard H. Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.

McDougall, Walter A. Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World since 1776. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Williams, William Appleman. The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. Rev. and enl. ed, A Delta Book. New York: Dell Pub.Co., 1962.

Maier, Charles S. Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.

Hixson, Walter L. The Myth of American Diplomacy: National Identity and U.S. Foreign Policy. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.

 

Revolutionary Period and Early Republic

Dull, Jonathan R. A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985.

Gilbert, Felix. To the Farewell Address; Ideas of Early American Foreign Policy. Princeton, N.J.,: Princeton University Press, 1961.

Harper, John Lamberton. American Machiavelli: Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of U.S. Foreign Policy. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Kaplan, Lawrence S. Entangling Alliances with None: American Foreign Policy in the Age of Jefferson. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1987.

Owsley, Frank Lawrence, and Gene A. Smith. Filibusters and Expansionists: Jeffersonian Manifest Destiny, 1800-1821. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1997.

Parker, Richard Bordeaux. Uncle Sam in Barbary: A Diplomatic History, The Adst-Dacor Diplomats and Diplomacy Series. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004.

Stagg, J. C. A. Mr. Madison's War: Politics, Diplomacy, and Warfare in the Early American Republic, 1783-1830. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1983.

Weeks, William Earl. John Quincy Adams and American Global Empire. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1992.

Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny

Heidler, David Stephen, and Jeanne T. Heidler. Old Hickory's War: Andrew Jackson and the Quest for Empire. Louisiana pbk. ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2003.

Stephanson, Anders. Manifest Destiny: American Expansionism and the Empire of Right. 1st ed, [a Critical Issue]. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995.

Horsman, Reginald. Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Greenberg, Amy S. Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire. Cambridge, UK ; New York,: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Graebner, Norman A. Empire on the Pacific: A Study in American Continental Expansion. Reprint ed. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio, 1983.

Emergence as a World Power

Ninkovich, Frank A. Global Dawn: The Cultural Foundation of American Internationalism, 1865-1890. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009.

LaFeber, Walter. The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860-1898. 35th anniversary ed, Cornell Paperbacks. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998.

May, Ernest R. Imperial Democracy: The Emergence of America as a Great Power. [New ed. Chicago: Imprint Publications, 1991.

Hoganson, Kristin L. Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars, Yale Historical Publications. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.

Offner, John L. An Unwanted War: The Diplomacy of the United States and Spain over Cuba, 1895-1898. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992.

Welch, Richard E. Response to Imperialism: The United States and the Philippine-American War, 1899-1902. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979.

Hunt, Michael H. The Making of a Special Relationship: The United States and China to 1914. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983.

Beale, Howard K. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power. Johns Hopkins paperbacks ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.

Beisner, Robert L. Twelve against Empire–the Anti-Imperialists, 1898-1900. Chicago: Imprint Publications, 1992.

World War I and the Interwar Period

Ambrosius, Lloyd E. Woodrow Wilson and the American Diplomatic Tradition: The Treaty Fight in Perspective. Cambridge Cambridgeshire ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

Ambrosius, Lloyd E. Wilsonianism: Woodrow Wilson and His Legacy in American Foreign Relations. 1st ed. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

Knock, Thomas J. To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995.

May, Ernest R. The World War and American Isolation, 1914-1917, Harvard Historical Studies, V. 71. Cambridge,: Harvard University Press, 1959.

Cohen, Warren I. Empire without Tears: America's Foreign Relations, 1921-1933. 1st ed. New York: Knopf, 1987.

Langley, Lester D. The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898-1934, Latin American Silhouettes. Wilmington, Del.: SR Books, 2002.

Hogan, Michael J. Informal Entente: The Private Structure of Cooperation in Anglo-American Economic Diplomacy, 1918-1928. Chicago: Imprint Publications, 1991.

Leffler, Melvyn P. The Elusive Quest: America's Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919-1933. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979.

Iriye, Akira. After Imperialism: The Search for a New Order in the Far East, 1921-1931. Chicago: Imprint Publications, 1990.

World War II

Dallek, Robert. Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945: With a New Afterword. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Kimball, Warren F. Forged in War: Roosevelt, Churchill, and the Second World War. 1st ed. New York: W. Morrow, 1997.

Casey, Steven. Cautious Crusade: Franklin D. Roosevelt, American Public Opinion, and the War against Nazi Germany. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Stoler, Mark A. Allies in War: Britain and America against the Axis Powers, 1940-1945. London New York, NY: Hodder Arnold; Distributed in the United States of America by Oxford University Press, 2005.

Iriye, Akira. Power and Culture: The Japanese-American War, 1941-1945. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Alperovitz, Gar, and Sanho Tree. The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth. 1st ed. New York: Knopf, 1995.

Miscamble, Wilson D. The Most Controversial Decision: Truman, the Atomic Bombs, and the Defeat of Japan, Cambridge Essential Histories. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Alperovitz, Gar. Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power. 2nd expanded ed. London ; Boulder, Colo.: Pluto Press, 1994.

Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi. Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.

Stoler, Mark A. Allies and Adversaries: The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Grand Alliance, and U.S. Strategy in World War II. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Walker, J. Samuel. Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

 

Cold War: Origins and Surveys

Costigliola, Frank. Roosevelt's Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Miscamble, Wilson D. From Roosevelt to Truman: Potsdam, Hiroshima, and the Cold War. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Gaddis, John Lewis. The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947, Columbia Studies in Contemporary American History Series. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

Leffler, Melvyn P. A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War, Stanford Nuclear Age Series. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1992.

Yergin, Daniel. Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Penguin Books, 1990.

Craig, Campbell, and Sergey Radchenko. The Atomic Bomb and the Origins of the Cold War. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.

Gaddis, John Lewis. We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History: Clarendon Press, 1997.

Leffler, Melvyn P. For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. 1st ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007.

Craig, Campbell, and Fredrik Logevall. America's Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009.

McCormick, Thomas J. America's Half-Century: United States Foreign Policy in the Cold War and After. 2nd ed, The American Moment. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995

LaFeber, Walter. America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945-2006. 10th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Cold War: Strategy, Diplomacy, and Crises

Gaddis, John Lewis. Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy During the Cold War. Rev. and expanded ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Friedberg, Aaron L. In the Shadow of the Garrison State: America's Anti-Statism and Its Cold War Grand Strategy, Princeton Studies in International History and Politics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Hogan, Michael J. The Marshall Plan: America, Britain, and the Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1947-1952, Studies in Economic History and Policy. Cambridge Cambridgeshire ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

Trachtenberg, Marc. A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963, Princeton Studies in International History and Politics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Kaplan, Lawrence S. NATO 1948: The Birth of the Transatlantic Alliance. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.

Bowie, Robert R., and Richard H. Immerman. Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Tudda, Chris. The Truth Is Our Weapon: The Rhetorical Diplomacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006.

Beschloss, Michael R. The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963. 1st ed. New York, NY: Edward Burlingame Books, 1991.

Nash, Philip. The Other Missiles of October: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the Jupiters, 1957-1963. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

May, Ernest R., and Philip Zelikow. The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis. Concise ed. New York: Norton, 2002.

Freedman, Lawrence. Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Garthoff, Raymond L. Detente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1994.

Cold War: Asia and Latin America

Rabe, Stephen G. The Killing Zone: The United States Wages Cold War in Latin America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Brands, Hal. Latin America's Cold War. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010.

Grandin, Greg. The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War. Updated ed. Chicago ; London: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Cohen, Warren I., and Akira Iriye. The Great Powers in East Asia, 1953-1960. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

Chang, Gordon H. Friends and Enemies: The United States, China, and the Soviet Union, 1948-1972, Modern America. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1990.

Chen, Jian. Mao's China and the Cold War, The New Cold War History. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

Schaller, Michael. The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Cold War: Hot Wars in Korea and Vietnam

Cumings, Bruce. The Origins of the Korean War. 2 vols, V. 1: Studies of the East Asian Institute, Columbia University. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981.

Foot, Rosemary. A Substitute for Victory: The Politics of Peacemaking at the Korean Armistice Talks, Cornell Studies in Security Affairs. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1990.

Matray, James Irving. The Reluctant Crusade: American Foreign Policy in Korea, 1941-1950. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1985.

Stueck, William Whitney. Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Logevall, Fredrik. Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. 1st ed. New York: Random House, 2012.

Logevall, Fredrik. Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Chapman, Jessica M. Cauldron of Resistance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States, and 1950s Southern Vietnam. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013.

Herring, George C. America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975. 4th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2002.

Herring, George C. LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War. 1st ed, An Administrative History of the Johnson Presidency Series. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994.

Kimball, Jeffrey P. The Vietnam War Files: Uncovering the Secret History of Nixon-Era Strategy, Modern War Studies. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004.

Decolonization and the Developing World

Westad, Odd Arne. The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times. 1st pbk. ed. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Latham, Michael E. The Right Kind of Revolution: Modernization, Development, and U.S. Foreign Policy from the Cold War to the Present, Cornell Paperbacks. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011.

Rakove, Robert B. Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World.

Wawro, Geoffrey. Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East. New York: Penguin Press, 2010.

Jacobs, Matthew F. Imagining the Middle East: The Building of an American Foreign Policy, 1918-1967. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

Yaqub, Salim. Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East, The New Cold War History. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Gleijeses, Piero. Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976, Envisioning Cuba. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Grubbs, Larry. Secular Missionaries: Americans and African Development in the 1960s. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009.

Irwin, Ryan M. Gordian Knot: Apartheid and the Unmaking of the Liberal World Order, Oxford Studies in International History. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

McMahon, Robert J. The Cold War on the Periphery: The United States, India, and Pakistan. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Cullather, Nick. The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle against Poverty in Asia. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010.

Nuclear Weapons

Gavin, Francis J. Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America's Atomic Age. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013.

Craig, Campbell. Destroying the Village: Eisenhower and Thermonuclear War. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Jones, Matthew. After Hiroshima: The United States, Race and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945-1965. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Maddock, Shane J. Nuclear Apartheid: The Quest for American Atomic Supremacy from World War II to the Present. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

Intelligence and National Security

May, Ernest R. Knowing One's Enemies: Intelligence Assessment before the Two World Wars. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984.

Matthias, Willard C. America's Strategic Blunders: Intelligence Analysis and National Security Policy, 1936-1991. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001.

Andrew, Christopher M. For the President's Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush. 1st ed. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995.

Rudgers, David F. Creating the Secret State: The Origins of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1943-1947. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000.

Troy, Thomas F. Donovan and the CIA: A History of the Establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency, Aletheia Books. Frederick, Md.: Aletheia Books, 1981.

Smith, Bradley F. The Shadow Warriors: O.S.S. And the Origins of the C.I.A. New York: Basic Books, 1983.

Immerman, Richard H. The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention. 1st ed, The Texas Pan American Series. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982.

Prados, John. Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006.

Mitrovich, Gregory. Undermining the Kremlin: America's Strategy to Subvert the Soviet Bloc, 1947-1956, Cornell Studies in Security Affairs. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2000.

End of the Cold War and the New World Order

Sarotte, Mary, 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, Princeton, 2009.

Garthoff, Raymond L. The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1994.

zp8497586rq

2 comments to A Far-From-Exhaustive American Foreign Relations Reading List

  • [...] A Far-From-Exhaustive American Foreign Relations Reading List [...]

  • LFC

    Interesting list and enough to keep you busy, for sure.

    I’ll mention only a few things. First, under surveys, I guess historians don’t bother w Kennan’s ‘American Diplomacy’ any more? It’s v dated, true, but also v short. And there might be a couple of nice turns of phrase in there that might come in handy. Just a thought.

    Re Cuban missile crisis: Michael Dobbs’s ‘One Minute to Midnight’ is on my shelf but have only glanced at it. Prob. more of an hour-to-hour account than you need.

    No Vietnam ‘revisionists’ on the list. Prob. just as well. Mark Bradley and Marilyn Young, eds., ‘Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars’ (2008) might be worth a look. And/or Mark Lawrence’s ‘The Vietnam War: A Concise Intl History’ (2008).

    I’ll exercise self-restraint and stop there.