Syllabus for Spring 2015: Market Empire and American Foreign Intervention

International and Area Studies 150
Market Empire and American Foreign Intervention
Professor Patrick Iber
Spring 2015 / MWF 11-12 / 122 Wheeler
Office Hours: Stephens 140, Friday 12-2
The foreign policy of the United States has been shaped, since the beginning of the twentieth century, by the country’s position as the preeminent defender of capitalism, which its leaders generally consider both an ethical system as well as one of political economy. But how often have its interventions worked? What were their long-term consequences? This course will look at the history of U.S. foreign interventions from a political economy perspective—not only from the point of view of U.S. policy elites, but also from the “outside in,” by those who managed and resisted U.S. rule.
Course texts:
Emily S. Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and Cultural Expansion, 1890-1945, (New York: Hill and Wang, 1982), 0809001462, 978-0809001460, $21.
Nick Cullather, Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala 1952-1954, 2nd ed., (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006), 0804754683, 978-0804754682, $19.
Graham Greene, The Quiet American, (New York: Penguin Classics, 2004), 0143039024, 978-0143039020, $16.
Mark Atwood Lawrence, The Vietnam War: A Concise International History, (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 0199753938, 978-0199753932 , $15
Rajiv Chandrasekharan, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone, (Vintage: New York, 2007), 0307278832, 978-0307278838, $16.
Course schedule:
Week 1: Introduction
W, Jan. 21: Introduction to the class, syllabus
F, Jan 23: No class meeting
Please listen to the “National Pride, National Shame” debate held between Angela Davis, Richard Rorty, and Gordon Wood in 2003:
Week 2, The Rise of the United States
M, Jan 26: No class meeting
W, Jan 28: The Rise of the United States
F, Jan 30: Discussion: What does it mean for the United States to be an empire?
Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream, 1-62
Mark Twain, “To the Person Sitting in Darkness”
Odd Arne Westad, Chapter 1, “The Empire of Liberty,” in The Global Cold War, 8-38
Week 3, Dollar Diplomacy
M, Feb 2: Dollar Diplomacy
W, Feb 4: Primary documents: Smedley Butler
F, Feb 6: Instructor-led debate
Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream, 63-160
Alan McPherson, The Invaded, 53-58, 73-90, 213-237
Week 4, Anti-Fascism
M, Feb. 9: Good Neighbor Policies
W, Feb. 11: World War II
F, Feb. 13: Student-led debate
Henry Luce, “The American Century”
Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream, 161-234
Benn Steil, “How Dollar Diplomacy Spelled Doom for the British Empire,”
Week 5: Constructing Anti-Communism
M, Feb. 16: No Classes
W, Feb. 18: Post-war Europe and Japan
F, Feb. 20: Student-led debate
David Riesman, “The Nylon War,” Common Cause 4, no. 7 (February 1951): 379-385.
Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire, 1-15, 336-375
Mire Koikari, “Exporting Democracy?: American Women, ‘Feminist Reforms,’ and the Politics of Imperialism in the U.S. Occupation of Japan, 1945-1952,” Frontiers 23, no. 1 (2002): 23-45.
Week 6: The First Cold War Interventions: Guatemala and Iran
M, Feb. 23: Covert Intervention
W, Feb. 25: Guatemala and Iran
F, Feb. 27: Student-led debate
Cullather, Secret History
Week 7: Vietnam I
M, Mar. 2: The Vietnam Era
W, Mar. 4: Primary documents: W.W. Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth
F, Mar. 6: Student-led debate
Graham Greene, The Quiet American
Week 8: Vietnam II
M, Mar 9: Film: The Fog of War
W, Mar. 11: Film: The Fog of War
F, Mar. 13: Student-led debate
Reading: Mark Atwood Lawrence, The Vietnam War
Week 9, Chile
M, Mar. 16: The World of Henry Kissinger
W, Mar. 18: Film: The Trials of Henry Kissinger
F, Mar. 20: Student-led debate
“Project FUBELT,” pp. 1-35, 47-48, 58-61 and “Destabilizing Democracy: The United States and the Allende Government,” pp. 79-115, 138-139, 146-149 in Peter Kornbluh, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability, (New York: New Press, 2003).
Fermandois, Joaquin.  “The persistence of a myth: Chile in the eye of the Cold War hurricane.”  World Affairs 167, no. 3 (Winter 2005), 101-112.
Juan Gabriel Valdés, Pinochet’s Economists, pp. 16-38
March 24-28: SPRING BREAK
Week 10: Liberation and Repression in the 1980s
M, Mar. 30: Liberation: Eastern Europe
W, Apr. 1: Repression: Central America
F, Apr. 3: Student-led debate
Timothy Garton Ash, The Magic Lantern, 25-46
Carl Bernstein, “The Holy Alliance,” Time, February 24 1992,
Greg Grandin, Empire’s Workshop, 52-86
Thomas Sheehan, “Friendly Fascism: Business as Usual in America’s Backyard,” from Richard J. Golsan, ed., Fascism’s Return: Scandal, Revision, and Ideology since 1980, pp. 260-300.
Week 11: The 1990s
M, Apr. 6: The End of the Cold War
W, Apr. 8: Unipolarity and decline?
F, Apr. 10: Student-led debate
Emily S. Rosenberg, “Consumer Capitalism and the end of the Cold War,” 489-512 in Cambridge History of the Cold War, vol. III.
Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire, “Supermarketing,” 376-415
Daniel Rodgers, Age of Fracture, “The Rediscovery of the Market,” 41-76
Week 12: The War on Terror I
M, Apr. 13: The response to 9/11
W, Apr. 15: Film: The Unknown Known
F, Apr. 17: Film: The Unknown Known
Reading: Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City [for next Monday]
Week 13: The War on Terror II
M, Apr. 20: Student-led debate
W, Apr. 22: Supervised time to work on projects
F, Apr. 24: Supervised time to work on projects
Week 14: Group Projects
M, Apr. 27: Poster presentations
W, Apr. 29: Poster presentations
F, May 1: Summing up
Your grade will be based on the following:
24% Debate brief. Once during the semester, each student will be responsible for writing a debate brief of 5-7 pages. You should identify a key controversy raised by the week’s readings. To be a good question, it should be possible to imagine various reasonable responses to it. Some examples might be: Is Robert McNamara guilty of war crimes?, or Did the United States contribute more to dismantling or to building empire in the 1950s? Your paper should present your question and lay out a defense of the position you find most convincing. You may also want to address opposing views and the reasons you find them less compelling. You may use class readings; you will likely find it useful to do some outside research, though a lot is not expected. You should plan to meet with me in the half-hour before the relevant debate to discuss your question and how we will talk about it during class. You may then be responsible for leading teams of discussion during in-class debate.
18% Debate and discussion participation.
26% project. Using FRUS documents, or more recent WikiLeaks materials, you will examine an important aspect of US foreign policy of your choosing. You will develop a poster or PowerPoint presentation that shows and interprets the documents in question. Your work will be presented and displayed during the final week of class. This project may be done alone or in a group, as long as divisions of labor are clear.
32% final. As required in 100-level courses, there is an in-class final. Ours is scheduled for May 12, from 7-10pm.

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