Woodrow Wilson Center Holding Summer Institutes for High School Teachers: U.S. and the Cold War

Historians in the News

July 26-July 31, 2009

• Melvyn P. Leffler, Edward Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia; fellow at The Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia
• Christian F. Ostermann, director, History and Public Policy Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center, Washington, D.C.

Guest Lecturers:
• Thomas Blanton, director, National Security Archive
• Malcolm Byrne, deputy director and director of research, National Security Archive
• Michael Dobbs, independent author; former reporter for Washington Post
• Mircea Munteanu, program associate, Cold War International History Project, Woodrow Wilson Center
• David Painter, professor of history and international affairs, Georgetown University
• John Prados, senior fellow, National Security Archive
• Marc Selverstone, associate professor at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia
• Samuel Walker, historian, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Education and Seminar Coordinator:
Ronald Nash, Governor Livingston High School, Berkeley Heights, NJ

Woodrow Wilson Center Staff:
• Mircea Munteanu, program associate, Cold War International History Project
• Kristina Terzieva, program assistant, Cold War International History Project Kristina.Terzieva@wilsoncenter.org

Gilder Lehrman Institute Staff:
Lesley Hermann, Executive Director

Seminar Purpose:

This seminar will examine the role of the United States in the Cold War. We will look at some of the latest historical monographs and compare recent interpretations to earlier viewpoints. We will examine the goals, motivations, and tactics of U.S. policymakers. We will explore the origins of the Cold War, the arms race and the Cuban missile crisis, the origins and erosion of détente, and the end of the Cold War. We will look at the ideological, economic, strategic, and geopolitical sources of rivalry as well as explore the domestic politics and organizational/bureaucratic imperatives that nurtured the Soviet-American competition. We will spend a considerable amount of time analyzing the fears, motives, and goals of key leaders and will examine the role of human agency in the making and unmaking of the Cold War.

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

Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Michael Dobbs, One Minute to Midnight: Kenned, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War. New York: Knopf, 2008.

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