From the Cold War to “the New Cold War”: Understanding American-Russian Relations (WAIT LIST ONLY)
David Foglesong,Professor, Department of History, Rutgers
A quarter of a century ago, U.S. leaders declared that “the Cold War” was over and prominent scholars proclaimed that a decisive Western victory had settled fundamental issues for all time. Yet in the last ten years many politicians, journalists, and scholars have warned or lamented that “a new Cold War” has erupted, with the West confronting a resurgent Russia from the Baltic states and Ukraine to Syria and beyond. Understanding these complex and controversial developments requires careful consideration of key questions about the nature, ending, and alleged resumption of “the Cold War.” Was the Cold War a bipolar geopolitical confrontation between two nuclear-armed superpowers that began after 1945 or a global ideological rivalry between capitalism and socialism that originated with the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917? Did the Cold War end when Western politics supposedly caused the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 or did it end in the late 1980s through the diplomatic engagement of U.S. leaders with Soviet reformer Mikhail Gorbachev? Has the drastic deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations in the twenty-first century been caused primarily by aggressive policies of former KGB officer Vladimir Putin or by U.S. politics of expanding NATO and promoting regime changes in the former Soviet Union? In this seminar, we will grapple with four fundamental questions: What was the Cold War?; When did the Cold War begin?; How did the Cold War end?; and, How did a “new Cold War” develop? To prepare for the seminar, teachers will read stimulating essays on the Cold War and a new Cold War by leading scholars. During the seminar, teachers will examine a variety of images (including propaganda posters, political cartoons, and magazine covers) that they can use to engage their students in future discussions of the Cold War and new Cold War.
Please Note: This seminar strongly overlaps with the seminar on the Cold War that was offered in October 2016. Teachers who attended last year's seminar should not enroll.