This course is based on the eponymous book edited by Andrew Preston, Elizabeth Borgwardt, and Christopher Nichols (Oxford University Press, 2021). In its pages, leading scholars from 20 U.S. and three foreign universities expand the scope of American diplomatic and military history by placing grand strategies involving public health, race, gender, culture, and the law into a framework usually dominated by experts in weaponry and geopolitics. Among the many articles providing ample food for thought are: “The Blob and the Mob” by Beverly Gage, whose recent resignation as Director of the grand strategy program at Yale received national attention; “The Unbearable Whiteness of Grand Strategy” by Adriane Lentz-Smith of Duke University; and “Reproductive Politics and Grand Strategy” by Laura Briggs of U Mass, Amherst.
Because of the wide range of subjects covered, class members will be encouraged to indicate particular areas of interest in advance to facilitate course planning. They will be expected to have read at least those sections of the book most relevant to their particular interests.
Instructor Bob Rackmales is a former Fulbright grantee whose 32-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service included tours in Nigeria, Somalia, Croatia, Italy, and Serbia. In 1992 he received the State Department’s highest award for management of an overseas mission. He has been teaching at Maine Senior Colleges since 2006.
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