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African American History
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Middle East
Civil War
Founding Fathers

News

Marc J. Selverstone new book, The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment to Vietnam

Marc J. Selverstone new book, The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment to Vietnam

Congratulations to Miller Center Professor Marc J. Selverstone on his recently published book, The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment to Vietnam (Havard University Press 2022) 

 

The book can be found here: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674048812

Description:

A major revision of our understanding of JFK’s commitment to Vietnam, revealing that his administration’s plan to withdraw was a political device, the effect of which was to manage public opinion while preserving United States military assistance.

In October 1963, the White House publicly proposed the removal of United States troops from Vietnam, earning President Kennedy an enduring reputation as a skeptic on the war. In fact, Kennedy was ambivalent about withdrawal and was largely detached from its planning. Drawing on secret presidential tapes, Marc J. Selverstone reveals that the withdrawal statement gave Kennedy political cover, allowing him to sustain support for U.S. military assistance. Its details were the handiwork of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, whose ownership of the plan distanced it from the president.

Selverstone’s use of the presidential tapes, alongside declassified documents, memoirs, and oral histories, lifts the veil on this legend of Camelot. Withdrawal planning was never just about Vietnam as it evolved over the course of fifteen months. For McNamara, it injected greater discipline into the U.S. assistance program. For others, it was a form of leverage over South Vietnam. For the military, it was largely an unwelcome exercise. And for JFK, it allowed him to preserve the U.S. commitment while ostensibly limiting it.

The Kennedy Withdrawal offers an inside look at presidential decisionmaking in this liminal period of the Vietnam War and makes clear that portrayals of Kennedy as a dove are overdrawn. His proposed withdrawal was in fact a cagey strategy for keeping the United States involved in the fight—a strategy the country adopted decades later in Afghanistan.

 

Congratulations to Miller Center Professor Marc J. Selverstone on his recently published book, The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment to Vietnam (Havard University Pre

Bethany Bell discusses the UCD's legacy of shaping school curriculum amidst FL Governor's rejection of AP AfAm studies course

Bethany Bell discusses the UCD's legacy of shaping school curriculum amidst FL Governor's rejection of AP AfAm studies course

In a recently published Washington Post "Made By History" article, Bethany Bell (Graduate MA student) explains the role of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in school curriculums. Bell draws connections between UCD and the Florida Governor's recent announcement of the state's rejection of the new AP African American Studies course.

Read article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/made-by-history/2023/01/25/ap-african-american-history-florida/

In a recently published Washington Post "Made By History" article, Bethany Bell (Graduate MA student) explains the role of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in school curriculums.

Professor Cong Ellen Zhang co-edited and co-translated, Chinese Autobiography Writing: An Anthology of Personal Accounts

Professor Cong Ellen Zhang co-edited and co-translated, Chinese Autobiography Writing: An Anthology of Personal Accounts

Congratulations to Professor Cong Ellen Zhang the recently published co-edited and co-translated volume,Chinese Autobiographical Writing: An Anthology of Personal Accounts (Patricia Ebrey, Cong Ellen Zhang, and Ping Yao; University of Washington Press, 2023).

Description:

Personal accounts help us understand notions of self, interpersonal relations, and historical events. Chinese Autobiographical Writing contains full translations of works by fifty individuals that illuminate the history and conventions of writing about oneself in the Chinese tradition. From poetry, letters, and diaries to statements in legal proceedings, these engaging and readable works draw us into the past and provide vivid details of life as it was lived from the pre-imperial period to the nineteenth century. Some focus on a person’s entire life, others on a specific moment. Some have an element of humor, others are entirely serious. Taken together, these selections offer an intimate view of how Chinese men and women, both famous and obscure, reflected on their experiences as well as their personal struggles and innermost thoughts.

With an introduction and list of additional readings for each selection, this volume is ideal for undergraduate courses on Chinese history, literature, religion, and women and family. Read individually, each piece illuminates a person, place, and moment. Read in chronological order, they highlight cultural change over time by showing how people explored new ways to represent themselves in writing.

The open access publication of this book was made possible by a grant from the James P. Geiss and Margaret Y. Hsu Foundation.

Link to the book: https://uwapress.uw.edu/book/9780295751221/chinese-autobiographical-writing/

Congratulations to Professor Cong Ellen Zhang the recently published co-edited and co-translated volume,Chinese Autobiographical Writing: An Anthology of Personal Accounts (Patricia Ebrey,

Professor Kyrill Kunakhovich's new book, Communism's Public Sphere

Professor Kyrill Kunakhovich's new book, Communism's Public Sphere

Congratulations to Kyrill Kunakhovich on his recently published book, Communism's Public Sphere: Culture as Politics in Cold War Poland and East Germany! 

The book can be found here.

Please see the book description below:

Communism's Public Sphere explores the political role of cultural spaces in the Eastern Bloc. Under communist regimes that banned free speech, political discussions shifted to spaces of art: theaters, galleries, concert halls, and youth clubs. Kyrill Kunakhovich shows how these venues turned into sites of dialogue and contestation. While officials used them to spread the communist message, artists and audiences often flouted state policy and championed alternative visions. Cultural spaces therefore came to function as a public sphere, or a rare outlet for discussing public affairs.

Focusing on Kraków in Poland and Leipzig in East Germany, Communism's Public Sphere sheds new light on state-society interactions in the Eastern Bloc. In place of the familiar trope of domination and resistance, it highlights unexpected symbioses like state-sponsored rock and roll, socialist consumerism, and sanctioned dissent. 

By examining nearly five decades of communist rule, from the Red Army's arrival in Poland in 1944 to German reunification in 1990, Kunakhovich argues that cultural spaces played a pivotal mediating role. They helped reform and stabilize East European communism but also gave cover to the protest movements that ultimately brought it down.

Congratulations to Kyrill Kunakhovich on his recently published book, Communism's Public Sphere: Culture as Politics in Cold War Poland and East Germany! 

Publications

The Long 1989

Decades of Global Revolution

Cool Town

How Athens, Georgia Launched the Alternative Scene and Changed American Culture

The Cigarette

A Political History

Petersburg to Appomattox

Petersburg to Appomattox

The End of the War in Virginia

To the End of Revolution

The Chinese Communist Party and Tibet, 1949–1959

Black Leaders on Leadership

Black Leaders on Leadership

Conversations with Julian Bond

Burying the Dead But Not the Past

Burying the Dead But Not The Past

Ladies' Memorial Associations & the Lost Cause

Taming the Unknown

Taming the Unknown

A History of Algebra from Antiquity to the Early Twentieth Century

La Frontera

La Frontera

Forests and Ecological Conflict in Chile’s Frontier Territory

Tosaka Jun

Tosaka Jun

A Critical Reader

Bad Water

Bad Water

Nature, Pollution, and Politics in Japan, 1870–1950

Lens of War

Lens of War

Exploring Iconic Photographs of the Civil War

The Associational State

The Associational State

American Governance in the Twentieth Century

Discovering Tuberculosis

Discovering Tuberculosis

A Global History, 1900 to the Present

Enlightenment Underground

Enlightenment Underground

Radical Germany, 1680-1720

Cold Harbor

Cold Harbor to the Crater The End of the Overland Campaign

Ruling Minds

Ruling Minds

Psychology in the British Empire

Causes Won and Lost

Causes Won and Lost

The End of the Civil War

The American War

The American War

A History of the Civil War Era

Shaper Nations

Shaper Nations

Strategies for a Changing World

When Sunday Comes

Gospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras

Charlotteville 2017

Charlottesville 2017

The Legacy of Race and Inequity

The Age of Eisenhower

The Age of Eisenhower

America and the World in the 1950s

Performing Filial Piety in Northern Song China

Family, State, and Native Place

La Nacion Sentida

La nación sentida

Rooted Cosmopolitans

Rooted Cosmopolitans

Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century

Piracy and Law

Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean

Singing the Resurrection

Singing the Resurrection

Body, Community, and Belief in Reformation Europe

Sea of Debt

A Sea of Debt

Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950

Armies of Deliverance

A New History of the Civil War

The Law of Strangers

Jewish Lawyers and International Law in the Twentieth Century

To Build a Better World

Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth

Unfree Marks: The Slaves' Economy and the Rise of Capitalism in South Carolina

Justene Hill Edwards

Ghosts From the Past?

Assessing Recent Developments in Religious Freedom in South Asia

That Tyrant, Persuasion

How Rhetoric Shaped the Roman World

The Unsettled Plain

An Environmental History of the Late Ottoman Frontier

The Man Who Understood Democracy

The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville

Paradoxes of Nostalgia

Cold War Triumphalism and Global Disorder since 1989

The New Era In American Mathematics, 1920-1950

Corcoran Department of History

The University of Virginia's Corcoran Department of History has long been one of the anchors for liberal and humane education in the College of Arts & Sciences. Members of the Department are nationally and internationally recognized for their scholarship and teaching. As scholars, the faculty specialize in a wide range of disciplines — cultural, diplomatic, economic, environmental history, history of science & technology, intellectual, legal, military, political, public history, and social history.  Areas of interest span the globe from Africa, to East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and the United States. As teachers, our faculty seek above all to lead students to reflect more deeply on the role historical forces and processes play in the human condition. Offering over 100 courses a year, the faculty teach introductory surveys as well as seminars and colloquia to undergraduates and graduate students. The Department's intellectual breadth is enhanced by its close relationship with the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American & African Studies, the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES), the Classics Department, an emerging Law & History nexus between the Department and the School of Law,  the Miller Center for Study of the American Presidency, and the Committee on the History of Environment, Science, and Technology (CHEST). Members of the Department are also closely involved with several interdisciplinary programs in the College of Arts & Sciences such as, American Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle-Eastern Studies, Medieval Studies Program, and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.  Others work at the convergence of humanities and digital technology, both in research and in novel approaches to historical pedagogy.