Ideas can be very powerful. Ideologies order and explain the world, project the illusion of controllable outcomes, and often explain success and failure. Ideas such as “civilization,” “freedom,” or “democracy” have been used to justify —and resist—everything from colonial expansion, free trade imperialism, U.S. military interventions, and immigration policy. Acclaimed historian and popular presenter, Christopher McKnight Nichols returns with a look at how the history of U.S. foreign relations appears differently when viewed through the lens of ideology.
Drawing from contributions in his new book, Ideology in U.S. Foreign Relations (edited with David Milne, who has previously spoken on Brexit for WorldOregon), Nichols invites, with clarity and accessibility, audiences to engage in a rich conversation on competing visions of democracy and of American democracy’s place in the world —and gain perspective on how we got here and where we might be going on an increasingly complex global stage.
Christopher McKnight Nichols is Professor of History and Wayne Woodrow Hayes Chair in National Security Studies, at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, at The Ohio State University. An Andrew Carnegie Fellow, Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, and award-winning teacher and scholar, Nichols is the author or editor of six books. He is most well-known for Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age and most recently has published Rethinking American Grand Strategy and Ideology in U.S. Foreign Relations. A frequent public commentator on the historical dimensions of U.S. foreign and domestic policy and politics, Nichols specializes in the history of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world, particularly in the areas of isolationism, internationalism, and globalization. Ideology in U.S. Foreign Relations: New Histories is the recipient of the 2023 Joseph Fletcher Prize for Best Edited Book in Historical International Relations given by the International Studies Association.
Nichols has spoken often for both WorldOregon and Oregon Historical Society, including a series of talks on lessons from the 1918-19 Influenza Epidemic.
Read Ideology in U.S. Foreign Relations and join the conversation — purchase via Broadway Books here
Copresented by WorldOregon and the Oregon Historical Society