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Frank Costigliola, D.Phil. - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Frank Costigliola, D.Phil.

Distinguished Professor, Department of History | University of Connecticut


Distinguished Professor specializing in modern history, United States foreign relations, and the United States in the 20th century.


Frank Costigliola grew up in Spring Valley, New York, the son of Italian immigrants who for economic reasons had to drop out of school after the fifth grade. At the age of 25, he completed his Ph.D. from Cornell and became an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island. His first year at URI, he began carving a homestead out of 20 acres of woodland, clearing land for a garden and pasture for a milk cow and steers. He helped build first a yurt, then a house, barn, and other outbuildings. He has been at UConn since 1998.

Costigliola’s first book, Awkward Dominion: American Political, Economic, and Cultural Relations with Europe, 1919-33, helped introduce culture as a topic in foreign relations history. His second book, France and the United States: The Cold Alliance since World War II, also dealt with the intersection of cultural with political and economic relations while suggesting how nations and their policies could be gendered as a way of valorizing or delegitimating them. His third book, Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War, explored the intersection of personal and political relations, and the role of emotions, in the diplomacy of the Allied leaders who won World War II and then lost the peace.

Costigliola has lectured throughout the United States and Europe and has received fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, and the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. In 2009 he served as president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Areas of Expertise (6)

Modern History

American History

Twentieth Century History

U.S. Foreign Relations


Historical Political Figures

Education (3)

Cornell University: Ph.D. 1973

Hamilton College: B.A 1968

Universtat Munchen: B.A 1966

Affiliations (2)

  • Historical Review Panel of the Central Intelligence Agency [advises Director of CIA on CIA’s declassification programs]
  • Invited consultant to Department of State Policy Planning Staff

Accomplishments (18)

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor (professional)


UConn Humanities Institute Fellowship (professional)


Institute for Advanced Study Director's Visitor (professional)


Institute for Advanced Study/National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (professional)


UConn Humanities Institute Fellowship (professional)


President, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (professional)


UConn Chancellor’s Excellence in Research Award (professional)


UConn Humanities Institute Fellowship (professional)


UConn Alumni Assn Excellence in Research Award (professional)


Nobel Institute Fellowship (Oslo) (professional)


Guggenheim Fellowship (professional)


Harvard Warren Center (professional)


NATO Fellowship (professional)


Harry S Truman Library (professional)


Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation Grant Research (professional)


National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (professional)


National Endowment for the Arts Grant (professional)


National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship (professional)





Frank Costigliola, D.Phil. Publication Frank Costigliola, D.Phil. Publication Frank Costigliola, D.Phil. Publication



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Media Appearances (5)

George Kennan: The Cold War Architect Who Opposed The War

Letters & Politics with Mitch Jeserich  online


Guest: Frank Costigliola is the author of Kennan: A Life between Worlds. He is also a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Connecticut.

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On the Life of George Kennan, Divided Between the United States and the Soviet Union

LitHub  online


Hosted by Andrew Keen, Keen On features conversations with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about the economic, political, and technological issues being discussed in the news, right now. In this episode, Andrew talks to Frank Costigliola, author of Kennan: A Life Between Two Worlds.

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Here's Every Time Russian or Soviet Spies Tried to Interfere in US Elections. How Does 2016 Compare?



"Now who knows if Russia didn’t somehow fund one candidate or another," said Frank Costigliola, a history professor at the University of Connecticut. "But it’s unknown."...

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What Would Kennan Say to Obama?

The New York Times  


“I don’t really even need George Kennan right now,” Barack Obama volunteered to David Remnick in a recent interview. Obama got it wrong. He, and we as a nation, do need Mr. Kennan now, as much as at the dawn of the Cold War...

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'Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances' by Frank Costigliola

The Boston Globe  


Franklin Roosevelt’s dozen years as president saw him battle the Great Depression, Imperial Japan, and Nazi Germany. In Frank Costigliola’s view, Roosevelt was necessary for one more imposing task: preventing the Cold War. The tragedy was that FDR did not live long enough to complete it...

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Articles (8)

Kennan’s Warning on Ukraine

Foreign Affairs


George Kennan, the remarkable U.S. diplomat and probing observer of international relations, is famous for forecasting the collapse of the Soviet Union. Less well known is his warning in 1948 that no Russian government would ever accept Ukrainian independence. Foreseeing a deadlocked struggle between Moscow and Kyiv, Kennan made detailed suggestions at the time about how Washington should deal with a conflict that pitted an independent Ukraine against Russia. He returned to this subject half a century later. Kennan, then in his 90s, cautioned that the eastward expansion of NATO would doom democracy in Russia and ignite another Cold War.

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“Personal Dynamics and Presidential Transitions: The Case of Roosevelt and Truman”

Cornell University Press, 2015

Brian Balogh and Bruce J. Schulman


“Roosevelt’s Body and National Power,”

Duke University Press

Emily S. Rosenberg


“Kennan Encounters Russia, 1933-37,”


Choi Chatterjee and Beth Holmgren


“Pamela Churchill, Wartime London, and the Making of the Special Relationship

Diplomatic History


“Archibald Clark Kerr, Averell Harriman, and the Fate of the Wartime Alliance,”

Journal of Transatlantic Studies


“After Roosevelt’s Death: Dangerous Emotions, Divisive Discourses, and the Abandoned Alliance,”

Diplomatic History


“The Foreign Policy of Kennedy and Johnson in the Cold War”

Cambridge History of the Cold War

Odd Arne Westad and Melvyn P. Leffler