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Professor Andrew Preston

Professor Andrew Preston

Professor of American History

Clare College
Trinity Lane

Cambridge CB2 1TL
Office Phone: 01223 7 66491

Subject groups/Research projects

American History:

Departments and Institutes

Clare College:

Research Interests

I specialize in the history of American foreign relations. More specifically, my teaching and research interests lie in the intersections between the national and the international, the foreign and the domestic, including the influence that domestic politics and culture—particularly religion—have had on the conduct of U.S. foreign policy.

I am currently working on three major projects: I am writing a book on the idea of “national security” in American history, which will be published by Harvard University Press; co-editing (with Lien-Hang Nguyen) Vol. 2 of the forthcoming 3-volume Cambridge History of the Vietnam War; and co-editing (with Brooke Blower) Vol. 3 of the forthcoming 4-volume Cambridge History of America and the World.

Research Supervision

I am happy to supervise MPhil and PhD dissertations on most aspects of American political, religious, and foreign relations history in any period since the Civil War.

Please note: I will be on leave in 2020-21 and not accepting any graduate students for that year.


In Part I, Paper 24 ("US History since 1865"). In Part II, Paper 26 ("The American Experience in Vietnam, 1941-1975"). In the MPhil in American History, "Varieties of American Empire" and "Debates in American History and Historiography."

Other Professional Activities

In addition to my scholarly work, my writing has appeared in the Washington Post, The New Republic, London Review of BooksThe Globe & Mail, USA Today, History Today, Boston Globe, New StatesmanPoliticoTLS, and Foreign Affairs, among others. I sit on the editorial boards of Modern American HistoryThe Historical Journal, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, and Diplomacy & Statecraft. I was recently elected as Vice President/President-elect of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) and am currently a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians (OAH). With Beth Bailey, I am also the co-editor of a new book series with Cambridge University Press on "Military, War, and Society in Modern American History."


  • International History
  • American History
  • Military History

Key Publications


  • American Foreign Relations: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.
  • Outside In: The Transnational Circuitry of U.S. History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017 (co-editor, with Doug Rossinow).
  • Faithful Republic: Religion and Politics in the 20th Century United States. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015 (co-editor, with Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer).
  • America in the World: A History in Documents from the War with Spain to the War on Terror. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014 (co-editor, with Jeffrey A. Engel and Mark Atwood Lawrence).
  • Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy. New York: Knopf, 2012.
  • Nixon in the World: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1969-1977. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008 (co-editor, with Fredrik Logevall).
  • The War Council: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC, and Vietnam. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Iraq, Vietnam, and the Meaning of Victory.” In The Last Card: Inside George W. Bush’s Decision to Surge in Iraq, ed. Timothy Andrews Sayle, Jeffrey A. Engel, Hal Brands, and William Inboden. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2019.
  • "The Irony of Protest: Vietnam and the Path to Permanent War." In Reframing 1968: American Politics, Protest and Identity, ed. Martin Halliwell and Nick Witham. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018: 59-80.
  • "Franklin D. Roosevelt and America's Empire of Anti-Imperialism." In Rhetorics of Empire: Imperial Discourse and the Language of Colonial Conflict after 1900, ed. Martin Thomas and Richard Toye. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017: 75-90.
  • "Containment: A Consensual or Contested Foreign Policy?" In The Liberal Consensus Reconsidered: American Politics and Society in the Postwar Era, ed. Iwan Morgan and Robert Mason. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2017: 148-166.
  • "America's Pacific Power in a Global Age." In The Sea in History, Vol. 4: The Modern World, ed. N.A.M. Rodger. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell & Brewer, 2017: 616-627.
  • "The Religious Turn in Diplomatic History." In Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations, 3rd edition, ed. Frank Costigliola and Michael J. Hogan. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016: 284-303.
  • “America’s World Mission in the Age of Obama.” In Faith in the New Millennium: The Future of Religion and American Politics, ed. Matthew Avery Sutton and Darren Dochuk. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016: 180-196.
  • “Mann, the United States, and the World.” Reviews in American History 43:3 (September 2015): 401-410.
  • “Kennedy, the Cold War, and the National Security State.” In The Cambridge Companion to John F. Kennedy, ed. Andrew P. Hoberek. New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015: 89-102.
  • “Beyond the Water’s Edge: Foreign Policy and Electoral Politics.” In America at the Ballot Box: Elections and Political History, ed. Gareth Davies and Julian E. Zelizer. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015: 219-237.
  • The Great Transition: From Geopolitics to Geoeconomics. In The Regional Cold Wars in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East: Crucial Periods and Turning Points, ed. Lorenz M. Lüthi. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015: 111-121.
  • “To Make the World Saved: American Religion and the Great War.” Diplomatic History 38:4 (September 2014): 813-825. [Reprinted in Beyond 1917: The United States and the Global Legacies of the Great War, ed. Thomas W. Zeiler, David K. Ekbladh, and Benjamin C. Montoya. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017]
  • “Monsters Everywhere: A Genealogy of National Security.” Diplomatic History 38:3 (June 2014): 477-500.
  • “Globalized Faith, Radicalized Religion, and the Domestic Sources of U.S. Foreign Policy.” In Beyond the Cold War: Lyndon Johnson and the New Global Challenges of the 1960s, ed. Francis J. Gavin and Mark Atwood Lawrence. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014: 261-284.
  • “Peripheral Visions: American Mainline Protestants and the Global Cold War.” Cold War History 13:1 (February 2013): 109-130.
  • “Tempered by the Fires of War: Vietnam and the Transformation of the Evangelical Worldview.” In American Evangelicals and the 1960s, ed. Axel R. Schäfer. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013: 189-208.
  • “Evangelical Internationalism: A Conservative Worldview for the Age of Globalization.” In The Right Side of the Sixties: Reexamining Conservatism’s Decade of Transformation, ed. Laura Jane Gifford and Daniel K. Williams. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012: 221-240.
  • “The Spirit of Democracy: Religious Liberty and American Anti-Communism during the Cold War.” In Uncertain Empire: American History and the Idea of the Cold War, ed. Joel Isaac and Duncan Bell. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012: 141-163.
  • “Introduction: The Religious Cold War.” In Religion and the Cold War: A Global Perspective, ed. Philip Muehlenbeck. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2012: xi-xxii.
  • “Universal Nationalism: Christian America’s Response to the Years of Upheaval.” In The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective, ed. Niall Ferguson, Charles S. Maier, Erez Manela, and Daniel J. Sargent. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010: 306-318.
  • “The Deeper Roots of Faith and Foreign Policy.” International Journal 65:2 (Spring 2010): 451-462.
  • “The Politics of Realism and Religion: Christian Responses to Bush’s New World Order.” Diplomatic History 34:1 (January 2010): 95-118.
  • “Religion and World Order at the Dawn of the American Century.” In The US Public and American Foreign Policy, ed. Andrew Johnstone and Helen Laville. New York and London: Routledge, 2010: 73-86.
  • “The Iraq War as Contemporary History.” International History Review 30:4 (December 2008): 796-808.