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Film, Video History of American Isolationism with Charles Kupchan

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  • History of American Isolationism with Charles Kupchan


  • A discussion of the evolution of U.S. statecraft with Charles Kupchan, author of a new book, "Isolationism: A History of America's Effort to Shield Itself from the World." In the book, Kupchan traces isolationism across the full arc of U.S. history, from the founding era through the present. He explores the ideological sources of America's aversion to foreign entanglement, how and why that aversion gave way to global engagement beginning with World War II, and why isolationist sentiment has been making a comeback more recently. In a conversation with John Haskell, Kupchan discusses the merits as well as the downsides of the nation's isolationist and internationalist traditions. Their conversation also addresses the implications of Kupchan's historical analysis for U.S. statecraft and global affairs moving forward.

Event Date

  • February 11, 2021


  • -  Charles Kupchan is professor of international affairs in the School of Foreign Service and Government at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2014 to 2017 Kupchan served as special assistant to the president and senior director for european affairs on the National Security Council. Kupchan is a former Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Kluge Center. He is the author of numerous books, including "No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest and the Coming Global Turn" and "How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace."
  • -  John Haskell is the director of the John W. Kluge Center in the Library of Congress.

Running Time

  • 33 minutes 43 seconds

Online Format

  • video
  • image
  • online text

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

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Chicago citation style:

History of American Isolationism with Charles Kupchan. 2021. Video.

APA citation style:

(2021) History of American Isolationism with Charles Kupchan. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

History of American Isolationism with Charles Kupchan. 2021. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.