As the Cold War recedes into history, as four decades of high-blown rhetoric (brinkmanship and all that) and downright distortion (“evil empire” and all that) subside, the world appears to be entering a new era. With Gorbachev and glasnost at the helm in the Soviet Union and with Reagan’s replacement—whoever that may be—on the way, a new chapter in U.S.-Soviet relations seems to be beginning. And with these developments, as Norman Graebner notes, the notion of bipolarism may be put to rest—this being “the assumption that the Soviet-American conflict is the supreme fact of international life, dwarfing all other national or regional concerns.” Where once the U.S. and the Soviets dominated the global scene, other powers are coming to the fore. “As these traditional powers of Europe and Asia regain ever-larger roles in world affairs, there is no guarantee,” Mr. Graebner observes, “that they will forever remain content with the present distribution of power and prestige.”
Norman Graebner is well qualified to assess the successive decades of Cold War. Not only did he live through them, he has devoted a distinguished career to ascertaining their significance in history. After serving as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II, he received a Ph. D. in history from the University of Chicago in 1949. His many teaching posts include assistant professor to professor, Iowa State College, professor and chairman of the history department, University of Illinois at Urbana, and from 1967 until his retirement in 1986, Edward R. Stettinius professor of modern American history at the University of Virginia. His many books on foreign affairs 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.
International relations of an earlier era— that of Woodrow Wilson and post World War I America—play a major role in Tennant McWilliams’ discussion of “John W. Davis and Southern Wilsonianism,” Davis having been U.S. Ambassador to St. James from December 1918 to March 1921, and the Democratic candidate for president in 1924. Mr. McWilliams is a native of Alabama, He has published a biography of the diplomat and international lawyer, Hannis Taylor, and for the past five years he has been researching and writing on the general topic of Southerners and world affairs. The result of these labors is his new book about Southern foreign affairs sentiment during the years 1877 through 1947 entitled The Mission and the Burden: The New South Faces the World, which has just been published by Louisiana. A member of the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he chaired the history department from 1981 to 1984, he teaches courses on both Southern history and American diplomatic history.
Although she is making her debut as a VQR author, Kelly Cherry is hardly a newcomer to the literary scene. A member of the English department of the University of Wisconsin, she is both a poet and a novelist, having published four novels and three books of poems. The novels are Sick and Full of Burning (1974), Augusta Played (1979), In the Wink of an Eye (1983), and The Lost Traveller’s Dream (1984). Her works of poetry include Lovers and Agnostics (1975), Relativity: A Point of View (1977), and Natural Theology which was published by LSU Press early this year. In addition, her shorter work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as The Atlantic, Commentary, Iowa Review, Southern Review, and North American Review.
Stephen Dunn’s sixth major collection of poems, Local Time, was published by William Morrow in 1986 as part of the National Poetry Series. His seventh collection, Between Angels, will be published by Norton in 1989. Mr. Dunn teaches at Stockton State College in New Jersey.
Michael Cuddihy, a resident of Tucson, Arizona, has published poems in recent issues of Ploughshares, Pequod, and Prairie Schooner.
A resident of Massachusetts, Sarah Provost has published poems recently in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.
Ron Smith is chairman of the department of English at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia, and has taught creative writing at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University, and modern American poetry at Mary Washington College. His book Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery, the title poem of which won the 1986 Guy Owen Poetry Prize, was published by the University Press of Florida this spring.
Stanley Moss lives in New York City, where he is an art dealer as well as publisher of Sheep Meadow Press. His books of poems include The Wrong Angel and Skull of Adam.
Robert Morgan has just published a new collection entitled At the Edge of the Orchard Country, the publisher being Wesleyan University Press. He is currently on leave from Cornell University and is about to begin a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Lucie Brock-Broido’s first collection of poems, A Hunger, is being published by Knopf this summer. She is a former Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia Program in Writing and has just been appointed a Briggs-Copeland lecturer in creative writing at Harvard University.
Hank Lazer is an associate, professor of English at the University of Alabama and a published poet as well as a critic of modern poetry. He edited a collection of essays entitled What is a Poet? that was published by the University of Alabama Press last fall. It includes essays by such critics and poets as Kenneth Burke, David Ignatow, Louis Simpson, Helen Vendler, and Donald Hall. “I suspect,” Mr. Lazer wrote recently, “that the portion of the book that will create the biggest stir will be the wild concluding panel discussion. Two hours of bloodletting, or to put it more politely, a lively stating of the differences among poets and critics at a particularly disputatious time in our literary history.”
Edward Falco received the 1986 Balch Prize for his VQR story, “Plato at Scratch Daniel’s.” He is a member of the English faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and the author of The Dream of a Perfect City, a collection of short fiction. His stories have appeared in such journals as The Kansas Quarterly, The Aspen Anthology, and The Southern Humanities Review.
Paul Roazen received his Ph. D. degree in political science from Harvard and is a professor of social and political science at York University in Toronto. His latest book is Helen Deutsch: A Psychoanalyst’s Life, and he hopes to have a new book, Subject undisclosed, “in press by ‘89.”
William Hoffman is the author of nine novels, including God Fires, and The Land that Drank the Rain, the latter having been published by Louisiana in 1982. His latest book is a collection of short stories, By Land, by Sea, which Louisiana published in March. Mr. Hoffman, who lives in Charlotte, Virginia, was for many years writer in residence at Hampden-Sydney College. He also worked as a newspaperman and a banker.
Helen Barolini was married to the late Italian author, Antonio Barolini, and they lived both in Italy, where one of their three daughters was born, and in the Westchester county villages of Crotón and Ossining. Mrs. Barolini is also the author of a novel, Umbertina, and The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women, which won an American Book Award in 1986. Her novel, Love in the Middle Ages, was nominated for a Washington Irving Award the following year. A collection of Mrs. Barolini’s, of which her VQR piece is one, will be published by Harcourt Brace later this year under the title Festa.
Robert A. Strong is an associate professor of political science at Tulane University, where he has received both the Outstanding Advisor Award and the Student Senate Teaching Award of the College of Arts and Sciences. He received his Ph. D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1980 and is the author of Statesmanship and Bureaucracy: Henry Kissinger and the Making of American Foreign Policy.
A prolific writer and critic, Sanford Pinsker has been a member of the English faculty at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for the past two decades. He is writing a critical study of Irving Howe and is co-editing (for Galen Publishing) an encyclopedia of Jewish American history and culture.
Eric J. Sundquist is a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He recently edited New Essays on Uncle Tom’s Cabin and was a contributor to the Columbia Literary History of the United States.
A member of the English faculty at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Sidney Burris is a published poet whose poems have appeared in VQR and Poetry.
James Latimer is the dean emeritus of Virginia political reporters, having served for more than four decades as the chief political correspondent for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He has also put together a number of public television series involving Virginia governors, congressmen, and senators.
While his field is English literature, Anthony Netboy is also an authority on salmon and has written widely about this denizen of the sea. He recently completed his memoirs.
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