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Indiana University Bloomington

Themester 2011 Home

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War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.
— General William Tecumseh Sherman

Fall 2011   Making War, Making Peace

LECTURE - Getting Americans in and out of Wars: Some Historical Examples and Reflections

Andy Rotter, Colgate University

Andy RotterWhen: Thursday, November 10 @ 8:00 p.m. (UPDATED TIME)
Where: Jordan Hall 124

Departmental Sponsors:
College of Arts and Sciences, American Studies Program

Using perhaps three case studies--World Wars I and II and Vietnam--and with perhaps a coda on the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I will discuss ways in which the state has persuaded, encouraged, and manipulated the American people to fight, and how it has tried to get them to stop fighting.  There are obvious differences between the ways in which Americans both entered and exited these wars, but I will suggest that there are also some general similarities between them too.  I will be thinking out loud here, and thus providing the kind of analysis that should produce a vigorous discussion afterward.

Andrew Rotter
is Charles A. Dana Professor of History at Colgate University, where he has taught since 1988.  He has degrees from Cornell University (BA) and Stanford University (MA, PhD).  He specializes in the history of U.S. foreign relations, especially with Asia, and is author of The Path to Vietnam: Origins of the American Commitment to Southeast Asia, Comrades at Odds: The United States and India, 1947-1964, and Hiroshima: The World's Bomb, along with a number of essays and articles.  He is currently working on a study of the five senses in the British and American empires.