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Thomas Schwartz - Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN, US

Thomas Schwartz Thomas Schwartz

Distinguished Professor of History | Vanderbilt University


Historian of U.S. foreign policy, international relations and U.S. presidencies.



Thomas Schwartz Publication Thomas Schwartz Publication Thomas Schwartz Publication



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Thomas A. Schwartz:



Thomas Alan Schwartz is a historian of the foreign relations of the United States, with related interests in Modern European history and the history of international relations. He is the author of America’s Germany: John J. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany (Harvard, 1991). The book examines the “dual containment” policy of the United States in Germany, a policy which sought to integrate Germany into the West while using her resources and strength to contain the Soviet Union. This book received the Stuart Bernath Book Prize of the Society of American Foreign Relations, and the Harry S. Truman Book Award, given by the Truman Presidential Library.

Schwartz is also the author of Lyndon Johnson and Europe: In the Shadow of Vietnam (Harvard, 2003), which examines the Johnson Administration’s policy toward Europe and assessed the impact of the war in Vietnam on its other foreign policy objectives. He is the co-editor with Matthias Schulz of The Strained Alliance: U.S.-European Relations from Nixon to Carter, (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Professor Schwartz's book, "Henry Kissinger and American Power," is forthcoming in Spring 2020.

Schwartz has served as president of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations. He served on the United States Department of State’s Historical Advisory Committee as the representative of the Organization of American Historians from 2005-2008. Professor Schwartz presented The 2010 Herbert S. Schell Annual Lecture in American History, "Henry Kissinger, Vietnam, and Iraq: The Problem of Realism in American Foreign Policy," on October 18, 2010.

Areas of Expertise (9)

Henry Kissinger

American Foreign Relations

Modern European History

International Relations

History of U.S. Foreign Policy

Twentieth Century American History

History of the U.S. Presidency

Lyndon Baines Johnson


Accomplishments (3)

The Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (professional)


Vanderbilt University

Annual Alumni Education Award (professional)

2008, Vanderbilt Alumni Association

2008 Book Award (professional)

Chi Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order

Education (4)

Harvard University: Ph.D., History 1985

Harvard University: A.M., History 1979

Oxford University: M.A., History 1978

Columbia University: A.B., History 1976

Selected Media Appearances (8)

Trump Touts US Economy in Davos as Impeachment Trial Begins

Voice of America  online


At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday touted what he called an economic boom in the United States and also addressed the issue of climate change. But Trump could not escape scrutiny about his own impeachment trial that began in Washington in the U.S. Senate.

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Public impeachment hearings resume

CTV News  tv


Thomas Schwartz on the President Trump impeachment inquiry

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How This Impeachment Inquiry Differs From The Last 2

NPR  radio


Thomas Schwartz, professor of history and political science at Vanderbilt University, on how the President Trump impeachment process compares to the process used with Presidents Clinton and Nixon.

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Share on Twitter Share via Email Print this page Comments Impeachment Inquiry Tensions Running High in Washington Over Impeachment, Syria

Voice of America  online


No matter how the impeachment battle turns out, one likely result is a deeper partisan divide, said Vanderbilt University Professor Thomas Schwartz.

“It will probably polarize the country even more. I think you will have a very divided country, in a way similar to what you saw in 1999 and 2000 after the Clinton impeachment and then the divisive election of 2000.”

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GOP unlikely to reprise role it played in Nixon’s 1974 exit

AP News  online


“He’d been proclaiming his innocence and suddenly they’ve got this evidence showing he’s been lying all this time,” said Thomas Schwartz, a history and political science professor at Vanderbilt University. “We don’t have the equivalent of that now.”

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Trump will likely survive his primary challenge from Joe Walsh — but history suggests that it could hurt him in the general election

Business Insider  online


"I find it hard to see him as a serious challenge, electorally at least," Vanderbilt University political science and history Professor Tom Schwartz said of Walsh in a Tuesday phone interview with Insider.

"There's not a lot of room to run to Trump's right in a way that Walsh is trying to do," Schwartz said. "Where Walsh could be interesting is the fact that he is media-savvy and he might be able to provoke Trump ... and get a reaction from him."

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Former special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony, like his report, promises an ink-blot test for partisans

USA Today  online


President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have spent more than two years questioning the basis of the investigation derided as a witch hunt into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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House investigations of President Trump hit a wall of delay; demands for records, witnesses are mostly on hold

USA Today  online


“I think John Dean is definitely theater,” said Thomas Alan Schwartz, a professor history and political science at Vanderbilt University. “On the other hand, I think this is part of a larger attempt to create a specter or aura around Donald Trump as you move into 2020 that would contribute to his political defeat.”

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Selected Event Appearances (2)

The Arab Spring: Revolution in the Middle East

Samuel L. Shannon distinguished Lecture Series  Tennessee State University


Henry Kissinger, Vietnam, and Iraq: The Problem of Realism in American Foreign Policy

The 2010 Herbert S. Schell Annual Lecture in American History  


Selected Articles (3)

Kissinger at 90: Still a Force to Be Reckoned With? E-International Relations

Thomas A. Schwartz


Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State and the most famous living American diplomat, turned 90 on May 27, and his birthday provided the occasion for several writers and analysts to reflect on the significance of Kissinger’s career and the continuing influence of his ideas. Robert Kaplan, in an extensive defense of the elder statesman in the Atlantic, argued without any trace of irony that Kissinger was “the 20th century’s greatest 19th century statesman” and that his “classical realism” remains “emotionally unsatisfying but analytically timeless.”

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Henry Kissinger: Realism, Domestic Politics, and the Struggle Against Exceptionalism in American Foreign Policy Diplomacy & Statecraft

Thomas A. Schwartz


Henry Kissinger was the single most controversial diplomat of the 20th century. This article explores Kissinger's approach to the philosophy of realism in international affairs, his role in Vietnam policy making, and his most recent engagement in the debate over the Iraq War. It argues that Kissinger's realism, although philosophically consistent and having roots within his own life's experience, was always tempered by his desire to exercise influence within the American political system.

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Legacies of détente: a three-way discussion Cold War History

Thomas A. Schwartz


Participating in this discussion about détente with two respected friends and scholars, both of whom have authored significant books about the subject of my current research, Henry Kissinger, compels me to confess that I have been strongly influenced by their work, and that this discussion threatens to be repetitious and even dangerously in agreement!

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