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Oregon Historical Society: Rethinking American Grand Strategy

May 25 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Online, N/A, Portland, OR 97207

Rethinking American Grand Strategy recasts both historical and modern dimensions of U.S. grand strategy by broadening the factors, events, and figures that could be considered political, and therefore strategic. Join us for a 30-minute lecture with one of the volume’s co-editors and co-authors, Christopher McKnight Nichols, laying out some of the broad themes, major events, and transformations in U.S. grand strategy, including an explanation of how an ensemble of leading scholars approached the history of the United States’ place in the world from the framework of rethinking.

Following the book talk, Derrick Olsen will facilitate a discussion between Nichols and Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates on how the historical insights provided in Rethinking American Grand Strategy could aid in reconceptualizing domestic needs and foreign policy in a post-COVID-19 world.

Copies of Rethinking American Grand Strategy are available for sale through the OHS Museum Store. Order your copy by emailing museumstore@ohs.org.

About Rethinking American Grand Strategy

Rethinking American Grand Strategy assembles a roster of leading historians to examine America’s place in the world. Its innovative chapters re-examine familiar figures, such as John Quincy Adams, George Kennan, and Henry Kissinger, while also revealing the forgotten episodes and hidden voices of American grand strategy. They expand the scope of diplomatic and military history by placing the grand strategies of public health, race, gender, humanitarianism, and the law alongside military and diplomatic affairs to reveal hidden strategists as well as strategies.

Christopher McKnight Nichols teaches history at Oregon State University (OSU), is Director of the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities, and founded OSU’s Citizenship and Crisis Initiative. Nichols specializes in the history of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world, particularly in the areas of isolationism, internationalism, and globalization. He is the author, co-author, or editor of six books, including Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age. A past OSU Professor of the Year, Nichols was recently named 2021 Sandy and Elva Sanders Eminent Professor in the OSU Honors College.

Derrick Olsen is President of WorldOregon, which connects Oregonians to the world through education, exchanges, and speaker programs. Prior to joining WorldOregon on March 1, 2016, Olsen was the Vice President of Regional Strategy at the regional economic development nonprofit Greater Portland Inc (GPI) for almost four years. He also has over thirteen years of experience managing political and economic issues for the U.S. Department of State in Latin America, Asia, and Washington, D.C., and four years managing international trade and investment issues for the State of Oregon.

Mary Carlin Yates is retired from the U.S. State Department after a 32-year diplomatic career primarily in three geographic areas: Asia, Africa, and Europe. She was special assistant to President Barack Obama on the National Security Council (2009–2011), first for strategic planning and then African affairs. Her diplomatic assignments included positions at U.S. military commands: political advisor at the European Command and deputy commander for the new U.S. Africa Command. She is currently a board director at the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C., and a member of the board of trustees of WorldOregon.


Portland, OR 97207


Oregon Historical Society