Why We Need Diplomatic History

When Gallup pollsters asked the American public in January 2000 to list the most important issues facing their country in the new millennium, the respondents relegated federal spending on the military to 20th place; the U.S. role in world affairs tied for 21st. That was hardly surprising: After the fall of the Berlin Wall, enrollments in diplomatic-history courses plummeted, and freshly minted Ph.D.'s with dissertations on foreign relations had a difficult time finding tenure-track positions.