KC Johnson

Roundtable Cultural Seminars: Great World Leaders

I  am from Higgins Beach, in Scarborough, Maine, six miles south of Portland. After spending five years as track announcer at Scarborough Downs, I left to study fulltime in graduate school, where my advisor was Akira Iriye. My B.A. (1988) and Ph.D. (1993) come from Harvard, my M.A. from the University of Chicago (1989). Before coming to CUNY, I taught at Arizona State and Williams; I also have served as a visiting professor at Harvard University and at Tel Aviv University, as Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the Humanities.

Week 1: The New World Order

  • Christopher Clark, Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power
  • John Grigg, Lloyd George: War Leader
  • Thomas Knock, To End All Wars
  • Geoffrey Kurtz, Jean Jaurès: The Inner Life of Social Democracy

Week 2 The Fate of the West

  • Geoffrey Best, Churchill: A Study in Greatness
  • David Dutton, Neville Chamberlain
  • Roy Jenkins, Churchill
  • Nick Smart, Neville Chamberlain
  • Geoffrey Warner, Pierre Laval and the Eclipse of France

Week 3: Wartime Leadership

  • James McGregor Burns, Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom
  • Ian Kershaw, Hitler, Vols. 1, 2
  • Stephen Kotkin, Stalin Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928
  • Simon Sebag Montifiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar
  • Norman Rich, Hitler’s War Aims
  • Jean Edward Smith, FDR

Week 4: Nationalists & Idealists

  • Avi Shilon, Ben Gurion: His Later Years in the Political Wilderness
  • Shlomo Aharonson, David Ben Gurion and the Jewish Renaissance
  • Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters
  • David Garrow, Bearing the Cross
  • William Duiker, Ho Chi Minh: A Life
  • Norma Smith, Jeannette Rankin

Week 5: Traditionalists

  • John Campbell, Margaret Thatcher, Vol. 2: The Iron Lady
  • Richard Aldous, Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship
  • Diaries of Alan Clark, vol. 1
  • Lou Cannon, President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime
  • H.W. Brands, Reagan: A Life
  • George Weigel, Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II

Week 6: Leadership in the Modern World

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