Thomas Schwartz Presents Kissinger’s Realpolitik and American Exceptionalism

Thomas A. Schwartz presents “Kissinger’s Realpolitik and American Exceptionalism” at the next Washington History Seminar at the Wilson Center on Monday, March 28, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

Henry Kissinger is perhaps the most famous and most controversial American diplomat of the twentieth century.  Much of the literature about him emphasizes his geopolitical approach to international relations, his European background, and his advocacy of Realpolitik.  But to a large extent of his foreign policy was fundamentally shaped and conditioned by domestic politics. Kissinger ultimately failed to bring about a different approach to foreign policy, one moving beyond American exceptionalism and toward an understanding of the limits of power.

Thomas A. Schwartz is Professor of History at Vanderbilt University.  He is the author of America’s Germany: John J. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany (1991), and Lyndon Johnson and Europe: In the Shadow of Vietnam (2003).  He is a former Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Past President of the Society for American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), and a former member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation.

Reservations are requested because of limited seating.  To reserve a seat at the seminar, contact Miriam Cunningham at 202-544-2422 ext 103.  The seminar takes place at the Wilson Center, located in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (Federal Triangle Metro stop).

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center (an initiative of the American Historical Association) and the Wilson Center and facilitates the understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and places, and from multiple perspectives Click for the Spring 2011 schedule and topics, as well as links to videos of past presentations. The seminar is grateful for the support given by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.