The United States and the World Since 1945

History 130B

Spring 2014
Day & Time: 
TuTh 2-330P

This course will explore the history of U.S. relations with the external world during the second half of the twentieth century. It will emphasize the reciprocal nature of the American Republic's international relations, asking both how the external world has affected the historical development of the United States and how the U.S. has impacted the course of larger global events. This course will encompass the political and military interactions that have traditionally constituted diplomatic history, but it will also engage intellectual, cultural, social, and economic exchanges between Americans and non-Americans since the Second World War. The course will cover the U.S. role in the construction of postwar international order; the advent of the Cold War with the Soviet Union and its consequences for American society; the struggles to deal with foreign policy challenges outside the Cold War framework, including globalization and decolonization; and the search for an effective foreign policy after 1991, through to 9/11 and beyond. Students will be encouraged to consider how knowledge of the history of U.S. interactions with the world might inform the conduct of foreign policy in the future.


The number will change to History 130

Course Books

Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power by Fred Kaplan Wiley. ISBN: 978-0470121184 Required
The Vietnam War by Mark Lawrence Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199753932 Required
The Right Kind of Revolution by Michael Latham Cornell University Press. ISBN: 978-0801477263 Required
Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy during the Cold War by John Lewis Gaddis Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0195174472 Required
The Peace of Illusions by Christopher Layne Cornell University Press. ISBN: 978-0801474118 Required
The Irony of American History by Reinhold Niebuhr University of Chicago. ISBN: 978-0226583983 Required