fbpx History of the U.S. for Policymakers, Activists, and Citizens | Harvard Kennedy School
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Alex Keyssar

Matthew W. Stirling, Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy

This is a course intended for policy students, both from the U.S. and from abroad, who would like to enlarge or shore up their knowledge of U.S. history and its bearing on current policy issues. The course will deal with the major themes, issues, and turning points in the evolution of the modern U.S. (largely post-1900) with an eye towards developments that are likely to be relevant to understanding current and future problems and policy issues. Among the topics to be considered historically are: the constitution and institutions of governance; parties and political institutions; the relationship between business and government; immigration; race; labor and social welfare provisions; regional differences; imperialism; and the Cold War. Some attention will also be devoted to the ways in which historical understanding can fruitfully serve policymakers.