Michael Barnhart

Distinguished Teaching Professor (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1980)

Posts by Michael Barnhart

Dominick Cavallo

It is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of Professor Dominick Cavallo, a Stony Brook graduate who was Professor of History at Adelphi University. A native of Long Island, he received his bachelor and doctorate degrees from Stony Brook, his dissertation directed by William Taylor and Fred Weinstein. He published often, his first book was Muscles and Morals: Organized Playgrounds and Urban Reform, 1880-1920 by U. Penn Press, and he edited or co-edited many readers and collections. He taught at the University of Rhode Island, Howard University, and the University of Dayton before coming to Adelphi, as academic counselor, Dean of the University College, and Provost. But his interests, and home, always remained in history. He received Adelphi’s Professor of the Year Award in 2010 and was well known among his students as a caring and keen teacher. He will be missed by students, friends, and colleagues.

External memorial page with additional testimonials

American Politics & Diplomacy Since 1945

Course Objectives

This course has two objectives. First, as with any history course, it seeks to make you a better reader, writer, and therefore thinker. You will learn how to read arguments based on factual evidence, evaluate those arguments on the basis of that evidence, come to your own conclusions–to think critically and analytically–on important questions concerning that evidence, and express–that is, write–your evaluations persuasively. Second, this course attempts to make you an informed critic of American politics and diplomacy as it affects you today through an understanding of the past as prologue to the present.

Nature of the Course

The first portion of the course is dominated by the impact of the Cold War upon American politics and diplomacy. To an unprecedented degree the two were interlinked on a daily and popular basis. Special attention is given to the challenges of the 1960s to the American political and global orders, from the civil rights activists to Vietnamese communists. The collapse of that order from the Right during the Reagan years, the search for a new world order after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the challenge to that order posed most starkly by the events of 9/11 form the basis for the course’s later topics.

This course assumes a basic knowledge of American history since 1945. If you would like to bolster that knowledge, you should obtain a survey of American history, preferably American foreign relations, for this period. Some good titles would be Thomas Paterson, et al., American Foreign Relations (volume two), Walter LaFeber, The American Age (preferably volume two), or Robert Schulzinger, U.S. Diplomacy since 1900. These books are not required and therefore not available at campus bookstores. They can be obtained online or elsewhere. Another possibility is Robert McMahon, The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction. This book will be available in the campus bookstore, but it is not required either.


W.R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall
Herbert Schandler, America in Vietnam
Richard Rhodes, Arsenals of Folly
Peter Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: The United States and the Middle East Since 1945
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Second Chance

Curriculum Vitae
SBS N-321
Research Interests
US foreign relations, especially US-Japan relations

Current project: E Pluribus: A Political History of American Foreign Relations from Jamestown to the Present
Scholarly Works
"Domestic Politics, Interservice Rivalry, and Japan's Decisions for War," History and Neorealism, ed. Richard Rosecrance, Ernest May, & Zara Steiner. (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)

"History as Victim: The Sorry State of the Study of US-Japanese Relations, 1900-1945," A Companion to American Foreign Relations, ed. Robert D. Schulzinger. (Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2003).

"From Hershey Bars to Motor Cars: America's Economic Policy Toward Japan, 1945-1976," Partnership: The United States and Japan, 1951-2001, eds. Akira Iriye and Robert A. Wampler. (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2001).

"Hirohito and His Army," The International History Review 21 (September 1999).

Japan and the World Since 1868 (London: E. Arnold Books, 1995)