For over a decade now, a group of senior historians at Yale University has led a two-semester seminar called “Studies in Grand Strategy” in which they guide undergraduates through an intensive study of the great writers on international politics from Thucydides to Machiavelli to Churchill and Kissinger. The course was initially devised by Professors Donald Kagan, Paul Kennedy, and John Lewis Gaddis as a means of encouraging students to think broadly about the roles of strategy and statesmanship in international affairs and to help them to understand current controversies against the long historical backdrop of war, diplomacy, and the collapse of nations and empires. The course is controversial among some faculty and students on the Yale campus who think that the study of statesmanship and statecraft is “elitist” and thus in conflict with democratic ideals. It is, nevertheless, a highly popular course, as more than one hundred students...

 

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