Since the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Berlin Wall six years ago this fall, American foreign policy has often seemed like a line from Pal Joey, namely “bewitched, bothered, and bewildered.” Bosnia alone offers ample proof of that. In his latest VQR essay, Norman Graebner examines “America’s receeding international role” and the “identity crisis” it has undergone since the Soviet Union disintegrated.
One of America’s most respected diplomatic historians, Mr. Graebner was Ralph P. Compton Professor of History and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia for the latter part of his career. He retired in 1986, but he has remained an active lecturer and writer. He received his Ph. D. in history from the University of Chicago in 1949 and taught at Iowa State College and the University of Illinois at Urbana, where he was chairman of the history department. He also served as the Harmsworth Professor of History at Queen’s College, Oxford, in 1978—79. His many books include Empire on the Pacific, The New Isolationism, Cold War Diplomacy, The Age of Global Power, and An Uncertain Tradition: American Secretaries of State in the 20th-century.
In his “academic autopsy” of “Who Killed History?”, William Craig Rice contends that academic historians bear a large responsibility for producing what Truman biographer David McCullough has called “a nation of historical illiterates.” Mr. Rice himself teaches in the Expository Writing Program at Harvard University. He is an associate editor of Harvard Review. He is the author of To Reclaim an Audience: The Public Dimensions of Academic Culture, forthcoming in Garland Studies in American Popular History and Culture.
A professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, John J.Claytonrhas published two books of fiction, both well received: a novel What Are Friends For? (1979) and a collection of short fiction, Bodies of the Rich (1984). His stories have appeared in such periodicals as Esquire, Triquarterly, Fiction, Ploughshares, Georgia Review, Antioch Review, Sewanee Review,and VQR. They have been reprinted in O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Short Stories. A recent story, “Talking to Charlie,” won second prize in the O. Henry collection for 1995. Mr. Clayton has been fiction editor of Agni Review and is editor of an anthology, The D. C. Heath Introduction to Fiction, now in its fifth edtion. A native of New York City, Mr. Clayton received his B. A. from Columbia College, his M. A. from N. Y. U. and his Ph. D. in modern literature from Indiana University.
Hugh Ragsdale is a professor of history at the University of Alabama and a Slavic Studies scholar. He received his B. A. from the University of North Carolina and his M. A. and Ph. D. degrees from the University of Virginia. He has been a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and is a former president of the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies. He has a new book on the origins of Soviet collapse, tentatively tided Russia in the Thrall of Its Tradition, due out next spring. He is also the author of Detente in the Napoleonic Era: Bonaparte and the Russians and Imperial Russian Foreign Policy.
Joseph Hynes, a professor of English at the University of Oregon, teaches modern literature, principally British. He has written The Art of the Real: Muriel Spark’s Novels and has edited Critical Essays on Muriel Spark. He has written widely on fiction and drama. In May he haunts London’s theaters, one result of which is his essay on Tom Stoppard’s new hit Arcadia.
In his eighth poetry chronicle for VQR,Peter Harris discusses recent work by Galway Kinnell, Jane Hirshfield, and Rodney Jones. Mr. Harris is an associate professor of English at Colby College in Maine and a Melville scholar. He has also taught American poetry at University College Cork in Ireland.
In a recent letter, THOMAS RUSSELL described his VQR story, “The Age of Sanity,”, as “appearing like an old dinosaur in its style, which is to say that’s probably part of its fascination for readers under forty.” He directs the writing program at the University of Memphis and has published both fiction and poetry. He recently won the 1995 Quarterly West Novella Prize.
Dave Smith is co-editor of The Southern Review and a professor of English at Louisiana State University. He is the author of numerous distinguished collections of poetry as well as essays and novels. His latest collection, Fate’s Kite, was just published by L. S. U. Press. He also taught for a number of years at Virginia Commonwealth University.
A former editor (for 13 years) of the New England Review, Sydney Lea is also the author of several poetry collections as well as a novel, A Place in Mind. His reviews and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and journals including this one. His latest collection of essays, Hunting the Whole Way Home, was recendy published by University Press of New England.
Stanley Marcus’S poems have appeared in numerous periodicals including Prairie Schooner, Denver Quarterly, Confrontation, North Dakota Review, Poetry East, and Stand. He lives in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.
Stan Sanvel Rubin has published a fulllength collection, Midnight (1985), and a chapbook, Lost (1981), both from State Street Press. His work has appeared in numerous magazines including The Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, and Tar River Poetry. He is co-editor of The Postconfessionals: Conversations with American Poets of the Eighties (1989), a collection of his interviews with poets published through the Associated University Presses.
Kathleen Halme’S collection, Every Substance Clothed, was published by Georgia last month. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
James Finnegan recently left Louisville, Kentucky for Hartford, Connecticut. He works in the field of banking insurance. In Louisville he founded an independent poets’ group called The Chartreuse Table. His poems have appeared in Chelsea, Poetry East, Ploughshares, and other literary magazines.
An award-winning poet, TESS GALLAGHER is also the author of a collection of short stories, The Lover of Horses. She served as a special consultant to Robert Altman on the film Short Cuts based on several short stories written by her late husband, Raymond Carver.
Annu Leigh Parrish grew up in Ithaca, New York where her VQR story, “A Painful Shade of Blue,” takes place. She later moved to Boulder, Colorado and received her B. A. degree from the University of Colorado in 1982. She took an M. B. A. at the University of Washington in 1984 and worked briefly as an economics consultant before beginning her writing career in 1985. She is married to an attorney and is the mother of two children. She is the author of more than 25 short stories, one of which “Among the Trees” was selected as a finalist in last year’s Nelson Algren Award for short fiction.
Novelist, essayist, and short story writer, Hilary Masters lives in Pittsburgh and teaches creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University. Home Is the Exile, his eighth novel, is due out next year from The Permanent Press.
David B.Mattern is an assistant professor on the general faculty at the University of Virginia and associate editor of The Papers of James Madison. He is the author of the forthcoming biography, Benjamin Lincoln and the American Revolution to be published this fall by the University of South Carolina Press. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa and later received his Ph. D. in history from Columbia University.
J.A.S. Evans, a professor of classics at the University of British Columbia recently completed his latest book, The Age of Justinian, to be published by Routledge in London. Mr. Evans was also recently elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
A professor at the University of Maryland in College Park, Neil D. Isaacs is also a practicing family therapist. His books include a baseball oral history, Innocence and Wonder, Batboys and the World of Baseball,a novel The Great Molinas, and All the Moves: A History of College Basketball. His scholarly publications include books on Old English poetry, Tolkien, Grace Paley, and Eudora Welty. His essays, stories, poems, and columns have appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Sewanee Review, and New England Review.
A lawyer and retired foreign service officer, Smith Simpson is the author of Anatomy of the State Department, The Crisis in American Diplomacy, and Education in Diplomacy and editor of Instruction in Diplomacy: The Liberal Arts Approach, and Resources and Needs of American Diplomacy.He was instrumental in the establishment of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, where he was invited to pioneer a course in diplomacy in 1973.
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