Schwartz to present talk on Kissinger, US foreign policy

Kissinger and American foreign policy discussed March 9

March 7, 2017

Dr. Thomas A. SchwartzDr. Thomas Alan Schwartz, professor of history at Vanderbilt University, will address U.S. diplomacy in his talk, “Kissinger and American Foreign Policy,” scheduled for 7 p.m., March 9, at Maryville College.

The event, sponsored by the College’s History Department, is open to the public and will take place in Fayerweather Hall’s Lawson Auditorium.

Henry Kissinger, national security advisor from 1969 until 1975 and later secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, was an architect of détente with the Soviet Union and of the U.S. war in Vietnam and Cambodia in its later stages.

“More than most secretaries of state, Kissinger put forth a vision of what U.S. foreign policy ought to be that continues to excite controversy, admiration and disdain,” said Dr. Dan Klingensmith, Maryville College professor of history and chair of the College’s Humanities Division. “Love him or hate him, Kissinger’s story provides a way to engage in the same issues we debate today – what should the United States’ role in the world be? Should we care about human rights? Should we care about international institutions? What should our approach to our allies be?”

Schwartz is a Harvard-trained professor of history and political science who specializes in U.S. foreign policy since the Second World War. He taught at Harvard for five years, and since 1990 has been on the faculty of Vanderbilt University, where he has won awards for undergraduate teaching.

His first book, America’s Germany: John J. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany, won prizes from the Society of American Foreign Relations and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library. He has published extensively on the subject of the relationship between the United States and Europe. He is currently working on two books: a biography of Henry Kissinger, and a concise history of the Cold War.

Klingensmith said Schwartz’s visit to the College will complement much of the discussions occurring in history classrooms this semester.

“The History Department invited Dr. Schwartz because his expertise will enhance courses we have this semester in the history of U.S. relations with the world and in modern history more generally,” he said. “We are excited to have the chance to bring a nationally and internationally-respected historian of U.S. diplomacy to campus at a time when there is a lot of public discussion about what our country’s role in the world should be.”


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2017 semester is 1,181.