Although America is the world’s only superpower, the course of its foreign policy is by no means sure or certain. Indeed, diplomatic historian Norman Graebner finds that President Clinton’s “chief foreign policy legacy was a nation more divided on matters of external affairs than anytime since the culminating isolationists-internationalists clash of 1941—one resolved quite conclusively by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.” Mr. Graebner discusses and describes the difficulties confronting American diplomats as they try to define this country’s role in a unipolar world.
Mr. Graebner brings a lifetime of experience to this discussion of American foreign policy. He retired as Randolph P. Compton Professor of History and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia 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 has taught at Iowa State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana, where he was chairman of the history department. He also served as 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: America’s Secretaries of State in the 20th Century.
The dean of Southern literary criticism, Louis D. Rubin, Jr. is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His many interests as indicated by his latest VQR essay include maritime affairs. Mr. Rubin says that his long time interest in naval history is a response to never having learned to swim, but he swims quite eloquently through the controversies surrounding the Battle of Jutland that took place in the North Sea off the coast of Denmark between the fleets of Great Britain and imperial Germany on May 31-June 1, 1916. The prolific Mr. Rubin’s latest book is An Honorable Estate: My Time in the Working Press, an account of his experiences as a newspaper man early in his career in such places as Staunton, Baltimore, and Richmond. An Honorable Estate is due to be published by Louisiana State this fall.
Michael Knight’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, VQR, Esquire, GQ, Story, and other magazines. His first two books, Dogfight and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and Divining Rod, a novel, were both published in 1998. He currently resides in Maryville and teaches writing at the University of Tennessee.
To Ellsworth Barnard, the “greatest obstacle in America’s progress toward a stable society” is “a growing hostility toward government and particularly the federal government.” Therefore, Mr. Barnard speaks up in defense of government in his essay. A retired professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, of which he is an alumnus, Mr. Barnard received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. He has an honorary L.H.D. degree from the University of Massachusetts. He is the author of Shelley’s Religion; Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Critical Study and Wendell Willkie: Fighter for Freedom. He is also the editor of Shelley: Selected Poems, Essays, and Letters.
After a long career in the U. S. Information Service, Chicago native Philip Gould and his wife settled in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of two novels published by Algonquin, one of which was reissued by the Internet publisher iUniverse in 2000. In the past two years short stories of his have appeared in The Missouri Review and The Texas Review and memoirs were published by The Virginia Quarterly Review and the Richmond arts magazine “64.”
Sanford Pinsker is one of VQR’s most loyal and frequent contributors. He is Shadek Professor of Humanities at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Mary Ann Samyn is the author of Captivity Narrative, the winner of the 1999 Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award. She lives in Northern Michigan and teaches at Kirtland Community College. Her VQR poem is from a new collection, Inside the Yellow Dress to be published this fall by New Issues Press in their Green Rose Series for established poets.
Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Maine at Farmington, Wesley McNair will publish a new collection of poems, Fire, with David Godine in 2002.
Stephen Cushman is a professor of English at the University of Virginia. His second collection of poems, Cussing Lesson, will be published by Louisiana State next year. The photograph on which his VQR poem is based is from James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Mr. Cushman is also the author of Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle, the battle being that of the Wilderness in 1864. He is also a member of the VQR advisory board.
A native of Havana, Cuba, Virgil Suárez has lived in the U.S. since 1974. He is the author of four novels, The Cutter, Latin Jazz, Havana Thursdays and Going Under, and of a collection of stories, Welcome to the Oasis. His memoirs, Spared Angola: Memories of a Cuban-American Childhood and Café Nostalgia: Writings from the Hyphen, chronicle his life of exile in both Cuba and the U.S. He is also the author of four collections of poetry, the latest, Palm Crows, to be published by the University of Arizona Press in its prestigious “Camino del Sol” Series this year.
DC Berry teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. His previous collections include Saigon Cemetery (Georgia) and Divorce Boxing (Eastern Washington University).
Jeffrey Levine is editor of Tupelo Press, a literary press based in Dorset, Vermont and a graduate of Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program for Writers. His book, Mortal Everlasting, winner of the Transcontinental Award from Pavement Saw Press, is due out this fall. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Antioch Review, Poetry International, Quarterly West, and Luna, among others.
Nicole Cooley’s first collection of poetry, Resurrection, won the 1995 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets and was published by Louisiana in 1996. She has also received the “Discovery”/The Nation Award and an NEA fellowship. Her poems have appeared in two recent anthologies, The New Young American Poets and American Poetry: The Next Generation.
David Keplinger’s first book, The Rose Inside, was chosen by Mary Oliver for the T.S. Eliot Award. He is also included in Carnegie-Mellon University Press’ new anthology of younger American poets, American Poetry: The Next Generation.
D. Nurkse has published books recently with Four Way Books and is Poet Laureate of Brooklyn. His poetry has been published in Poetry, The New Yorker, and previously in VQR.
Leonard Kriegel’s collection of essays, Flying Solo: Reimagining Manhood Courage and Loss, was published by Beacon Press in 1998. A native New Yorker, Mr. Kriegel has written seven other books. His essays and stories have appeared in a variety of journals including The Sewanee Review, and The American Scholar.
Hilary Masters is a member of the English faculty at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In addition to short stories and novels, he also writes essays, and his latest collection of essays, In Montaigne’s Tower, was published by Missouri last year.
A poet as well as an essayist and novelist, Floyd Skloot has just published The Fiddler’s Trance, his third collection of poems published in July by Bucknell. Mr. Skloot’s essays have appeared in The Art of the Essay, 1999, and The Best American Essays of 1993 and 2000 and have appeared in such journals as The American Scholar, Boulevard, Missouri Review, Antioch Review, and Gettyburg Review. He has received the McGinness Richie Award for best essay of the year by Southwest Review.
After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, David H. Lynn joined the English faculty at Kenyon College. He is also the editor of The Kenyon Review. His most recent book is Fortune Telling, a story collection.
Michael Mewshaw has published eight novels, most recently True Crime, and four books of investigative journalism. His novel, Year of the Gun, was adapted as a major motion picture starring Sharon Stone. His VQR essay is excerpted from his forthcoming book, A Writer’s Account, a memoir focusing on prominent contemporary writers he has known.
Hans A. Schmitt is a professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. A native of Germany, he immigrated to this country in the 1930’s and served with the U.S. Army during World War II. He is a specialist in European history and his most recent book is Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness.
A graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School, John Ritchie served as executive assistant to Governor Linwood Holton, Virginia’s first Republican governor. He later became executive director of the Virginia Housing and Redevelopment Authority, a post from which he retired in 2000. For many years, he and his wife Virginia and their two children resided on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.
James Allan Evans is a professor emeritus of classics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The University of Texas will publish his book, The Empress Theodora: Partner of Justinian, in 2002. He has just completed his first murder mystery.
A native of Virginia, James E. Person Jr. is a database manager at a major reference publisher in the Midwest and a freelance writer. His essays and reviews have appeared in such periodicals as The Detroit News, The Sewanee Review, and Modern Age. He is author of the first full-length study of the conservative man of letters Russell Kirk.
Ernest B. Furgurson is the author of Ashes of Glory: Richmond at War. His most recent book is Not War But Murder: Cold Harbor, 1864, which was reviewed in the summer issue of VQR by Joan Waugh.
Roberta Silman is the author of Blood Relations, a story collection, three novels, Boundaries, The Dream Dredger, Beginning the World Again, and a children’s book, Somebody Else’s Child. Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, McCall’s, Redbook, VQR, and many other magazines. She has just completed a new novel, A Country of Their Own.
Jack Fischel is chairman of the department of history at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania. He was co-editor of Jewish American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia, published in 1992 by Garland, served as co-editor of Holocaust Studies Annual, and was editor of Congress Monthly, the publication of the American Jewish Congress.
Picture from the Sphere Feb. 15, 1919 from the painting by Arthur J. W. Burgess, R. I. From Special Collections@UVALibrary.
5th Battle Squadron, May 31, 1916
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