Has the United States Become an Empire?

Humanities Seminars Course

Has the United States Become an Empire?

Professor David Gibbs Department of History
Past Course
FRIDAYS 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. September 15 - December 15, 2017. No classes on October 6, October 20, November 10, and November 24.
Dorothy Rubel Room



U.S. intervention in underdeveloped countries raises many basic issues of international relations and foreign policy. The main purpose of this class is to provide students with an ability to examine such issues critically and in a historical context. Among the general areas we will look at are: the historical background that led to the emergence of the USA as a major power, beginning at the end of the 1940s; the role of covert operations during the Cold War; the Vietnam War and its long-term effects; the end of the Cold War; and the War on Terror. The course lectures will emphasize the remarkable continuity of U.S. policy from the Cold War through the period after it.

This course is a repeat of the class given in Spring 2016.


Required Reading: 

Layne, Christopher. The Peace of Illusions: American Grand Strategy from 1940 to the Present. New York: Cornell University Press, 2007. ISBN-10: 0801474116.

DAVID N. GIBBS is Professor of History at the University of Arizona. A former MacArthur Fellow, his writings have appeared in many newspapers and magazines, and have been translated into 11 foreign languages. His most recent book is First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia.

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