The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

History Program Events

10/14 – “How the Cold War Shaped American Politics, from Harry Truman to Donald Trump”

Alum Michael Brenes (PhD, 2014) will give a virtual book talk on Oct 14th at 4:30. He will be discussing his forthcoming book, For Might and Right: Cold War Defense Spending and the Remaking of American Democracy  scheduled to be published at the end of October.

About the book: How did the global Cold War influence American politics at home? For Might and Right traces the story of how Cold War defense spending remade participatory politics, producing a powerful and dynamic political coalition that reached across party lines. This “Cold War coalition” favored massive defense spending over social welfare programs, bringing together a diverse array of actors from across the nation, including defense workers, community boosters, military contractors, current and retired members of the armed services, activists, and politicians. Faced with neoliberal austerity and uncertainty surrounding America’s foreign policy after the 1960s, increased military spending became a bipartisan solution to create jobs and stimulate economic growth, even in the absence of national security threats.

Using a rich array of archival sources, Michael Brenes (Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy and Lecturer in History at Yale University). draws important connections between economic inequality and American militarism that enhance our understanding of the Cold War’s continued impact on American democracy and the resilience of the military-industrial complex, up to the age of Donald Trump.

Interested? Please register in advance for this meeting:     After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.