James Chace

James Clarke Chace (October 16, 1931 – October 8, 2004) was an American historian, writing on American diplomacy and statecraft. His 12 books include the critically acclaimed Acheson: The Secretary of State Who Created the American World (1998), the definitive biography of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson. In a debate during the 2000 presidential primary, George W. Bush referred to Chace's Acheson as one of the books he was reading at the time.[1]

His writings, known for elegant and even literary prose, often influenced American thought in policymaking — his coining of the phrase "the indispensable nation" with Sidney Blumenthal[1] to describe America was widely used when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright began including it in her speeches.

Chace was born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts. His family, of the New England aristocracy, lost nearly everything during the Great Depression after the collapse of the Fall River cotton-mill economy. This experience he later described in his 1990 memoir What We Had.

Chace graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Classics. He went to France in 1954 to conduct graduate-study research on painter Eugène Delacroix and writer Charles Baudelaire, but soon found his interest drawn to the current intellectual arena of literature and politics, which led to an intense interest in French political writers including Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. He returned to France later the same year as a soldier and in 1955 and 1956 worked as an Army translator, which involved the translation of French newspapers for the Central Intelligence Agency. While in France he wrote a novel and was witness to the impact of that nation's withdrawal from Vietnam and its problems with a rebellion in colonialized Algeria.

After his return to the United States his interest in foreign policy grew as he served as managing editor for East Europe, a political review of Soviet bloc affairs, from 1959 to 1969, during which time he wrote his book Conflict in the Middle East about the Six-Day War. He also served as the managing editor of the foreign policy journal Interplay (1967–1970) and Foreign Affairs (1970–1983). He became editor of the World Policy Journal in 1993, where he served for 7 years. In 1990, he was appointed Professor of Government at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, in upstate New York. He later helped found and chair Bard's international affairs program, the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program (BGIA), in New York City. His pieces were frequently printed on newspaper op-ed pages and he contributed to the New York Times Book Review in the 1980s and 1990s.

Chace's work focused on American statesmanship, the interplay of American interests with American values, and the use of American power. He believed that any statesman effectively leading a nation will understand that resources are limited — including blood and political will — and that in protecting the interests of the nation those resources cannot be overtaxed. According to fellow writer and good friend Mark Danner, Chace considered the Vietnam War a classic example of a nation failing to prudently balance interests and resources, and saw the Iraq War as another example.[2]

Chace died from a heart attack in Paris while doing research for a biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, which would have been his tenth book. At the time of his death, Chace resided in New York City and was survived by former wives Jean Valentine and Susan Denvir Chace, his long-time companion Joan Bingham, and daughters Sarah, Rebecca, and Zoe. He was a close friend and mentor of military historian and author Caleb Carr and historian David Fromkin. He had two grand daughters, Rebecca and Pesha.

James Chace


External video
Presentation by Chace on Acheson, September 16, 1998, C-SPAN
Booknotes interview with Chace on 1912, August 29, 2004, C-SPAN
Presentation by Chace on 1912, May 12, 2004, C-SPAN
  • Conflict in the Middle East (1969 H. W. Wilson Company) - causes and consequences of the 1967 Six-Day War
  • A World Elsewhere: the new American foreign policy (1973 Scribner) (ISBN 0-684-13225-7)
  • Atlantis Lost: United States-European Relation After the Cold War (James Chace, co-editor with Earl C. Ravenal) (1976 UP) ISBN 0-8147-1361-0
  • Solvency, the Price of Survival: An essay on American foreign policy (1981 Random House) ISBN 0-394-50754-1
  • Endless War: How We Got Involved in Central America-And What Can Be Done (1984 Vintage Books) (ISBN 0-394-72779-7)
  • America Invulnerable: The Quest for Absolute Security from 1812 to Star Wars (1988 Summit) (by James Chace with Caleb Carr) ISBN 0-671-61778-8
  • What We Had: A Memoir (1990 Summit Books) ISBN 0-671-69478-2
  • The Consequences of the Peace: The New Internationalism and American Foreign Policy (1993 Oxford) ISBN 0-19-508354-7
  • Acheson: The Secretary Of State Who Created The American World (1998 Simon & Schuster)
  • What If? 2: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (2001 Putnam) (by Robert Cowley, James Chace and John Lukacs) ISBN 0-399-14795-0
  • 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs-The Election that Changed the Country (2004 Simon & Schuster, Inc.) ISBN 0-7432-0394-1
  • Booknotes on American Character: people, politics, and conflict in American history (2004 Perseus Press) (contributor) ISBN 1-58648-232-7


  1. ^ Blumenthal, Sidney. "James Chace, 1931-2004". The American Prospect. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  • Schudel, Matt. "James Chace, 72; Wrote on Foreign Policy". Washington Post, October 10, 2004, p. C11 (Accessed via washingtonpost.com October 19, 2006).
  • Weiner, Tim. "James Chace, Foreign Policy Thinker, Is Dead at 72". The New York Times (Late East Coast edition), October 11, 2004, p. B.7. (Accessed via ProQuest, Document ID 710384891)

External links

1944 Democratic National Convention

The 1944 Democratic National Convention was held at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois from July 19 to July 21, 1944. The convention resulted in the nomination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented fourth term. Senator Harry S. Truman of Missouri was nominated for Vice President. Including Roosevelt's nomination for the vice-presidency in 1920, it was the fifth time Roosevelt had been nominated on a national ticket. The keynote address was given by Governor Robert S. Kerr of Oklahoma, in which he "gave tribute to Roosevelt's war leadership and new deal policies."

B.M.C. Durfee High School

B.M.C. Durfee High School is a public high school located in the city of Fall River, Massachusetts. It is a part of Fall River Public Schools and is the city's main public high school, the other being Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School. Durfee is one of the biggest high schools in Massachusetts, and is also the 4th biggest high school in Southeastern Massachusetts behind Brockton, Taunton and New Bedford. These three high schools make up the Big Three League, the conference in which all their athletic teams compete.

Caleb Carr

Caleb Carr (born August 2, 1955) is an American military historian and author. Carr is the second of three sons born to Lucien Carr and Francesca Von Hartz.He authored The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness, The Lessons of Terror, Killing Time, The Devil Soldier, The Italian Secretary, and The Legend of Broken. He has taught military history at Bard College, and worked extensively in film, television, and the theater. His military and political writings have appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals, among them The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in upstate New York.Carr stated as a child that he "wanted nothing less than to be a fiction writer".


Containment is best known as a Cold War foreign policy of the United States and its allies to prevent the spread of communism. As a component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet Union to increase communist influence in Eastern Europe, China, Korea, Africa, Vietnam, and Latin America. Containment represented a middle-ground position between detente and rollback.

The basis of the doctrine was articulated in a 1946 cable by U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan during the post-World War II administration of U.S. President Harry S. Truman. As a description of U.S. foreign policy, the word originated in a report Kennan submitted to U.S. Defense Secretary James Forrestal in 1947, which was later used in a magazine article. It is a translation of the French term cordon sanitaire, which was used to describe Western policy toward the Soviet Union in the 1920s.

French-American Foundation

The French-American Foundation is a privately funded, non-governmental organization established to promote bilateral relations between France and the United States on topics of importance to the two countries, with a focus on contact between upcoming leaders from each country. It employs a variety of initiatives that include multi-year policy programs, conferences on issues of French-American interest, and leadership and professional exchanges of decision-makers from France and the United States.

Founded in 1976, the Foundation is an operating organization that relies on outside financial support to carry out its mission and does not provide grants. It is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization.

Gregory Fossedal

Gregory Fossedal (born 1959) is an American writer and political/economic theorist. He served as chairman of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI).

Fossedal, Gordon Haff, Benjamin Hart, and Keeney Jones founded the Dartmouth Review in 1980. Fossedal graduated from Dartmouth College in 1981 magna cum laude with an A.B. in English Literature.

Harvard Law Review

The Harvard Law Review is a law review published by an independent student group at Harvard Law School.

Jean Valentine

Jean Valentine (born April 27, 1934) is an American poet and was the New York State Poet Laureate from 2008–2010. Her poetry collection, Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003, was awarded the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry.Her most recent book, Shirt In Heaven, was published in 2015 by Copper Canyon Press. Before that, Break the Glass (Copper Canyon Press, 2010) was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her first book, Dream Barker, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 1965. She has published poems widely in literary journals and magazines, including The New Yorker, and Harper's Magazine, and The American Poetry Review. Valentine was one of five poets including Charles Wright, Russell Edson, James Tate and Louise Glück, whose work Lee Upton considered critically in The Muse of Abandonment: Origin, Identity, Mastery in Five American Poets (Bucknell University Press, 1998). She has held residencies from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Ucross, and the Lannan foundation, among others.

She was born in Chicago, United States, received bachelor of arts and a master of arts degrees at Radcliffe College, and has lived most of her life in New York City. She has taught with the Graduate Writing Program at New York University, at Columbia University, at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, and at Sarah Lawrence College. She is a faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was married to the late American historian James Chace from 1957–1968, and they have two daughters, Sarah and Rebecca.

Law clerk

A law clerk or a judicial clerk is an individual—generally an attorney—who provides direct assistance and counsel to a judge in making legal determinations and in writing opinions by researching issues before the court. Judicial clerks often play significant roles in the formation of case law through their influence upon judges' decisions. Judicial clerks should not be confused with legal clerks (also called "law clerks" in Canada), court clerks, or courtroom deputies who only provide secretarial and administrative support to attorneys and/or judges.

Judicial clerks are generally recent law school graduates who performed at or near the top of their class. Serving as a judicial clerk is considered to be one of the most prestigious positions in legal circles, and tends to open up wide-ranging opportunities in academia, law firm practice, and influential government work. In some countries, judicial clerks are known as judicial associates or judicial assistants.

In many nations, clerk duties are performed by permanent staff attorneys or junior apprentice-like judges, such as those that sit on France's Conseil d'État. In English courts, they are known as judicial assistants. The European Court of Justice uses permanent staff attorneys (référendaires) and the stagiaires (young law graduates). Australia, Canada, Sweden, and Brazil have notable clerk systems.

List of Booknotes interviews first aired in 2004

Booknotes is an American television series on the C-SPAN network hosted by Brian Lamb, which originally aired from 1989 to 2004. The format of the show is a one-hour, one-on-one interview with a non-fiction author. The series was broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern Time each Sunday night, and was the longest-running author interview program in U.S. broadcast history.

October 8

October 8 is the 281st day of the year (282nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 84 days remaining until the end of the year.

Perpetual war

Perpetual war, endless war, or a forever war, is a lasting state of war with no clear conditions that would lead to its conclusion. These wars are situations of ongoing tension that may escalate at any moment, similar to the Cold War. Today, the concepts are used to critique the United States Armed Forces interventions in foreign nations and the military–industrial complex, or wars with ambiguous enemies such as the War on Terror, War on Poverty, or the War on Drugs.

Progressive Party (United States, 1912)

The Progressive Party was a third party in the United States formed in 1912 by former President Theodore Roosevelt after he lost the presidential nomination of the Republican Party to his former protégé, incumbent President William Howard Taft. The new party was known for taking advanced positions on progressive reforms and attracting some leading reformers. After the party's defeat in the 1912 presidential election, it went into rapid decline, disappearing by 1918. The Progressive Party was popularly nicknamed the "Bull Moose Party" since Roosevelt often said that he felt "strong as a bull moose" both before and after an assassination attempt on the campaign trail.As a member of the Republican Party, Roosevelt had served as President from 1901 to 1909, becoming increasingly progressive in the later years of his presidency. In the 1908 presidential election, Roosevelt helped ensure that he would be succeeded by Secretary of War Taft. After Taft took office, he hewed closer to the conservative wing of the party and this and other actions alienated Roosevelt from his former friend. Progressive Republican leader Robert La Follette had already announced a challenge to Taft for the 1912 Republican nomination, but many of his supporters shifted to Roosevelt after the former President decided to seek a third presidential term, which was permissible under the Constitution prior to the ratification of the Twenty-second Amendment. At the 1912 Republican National Convention, Taft narrowly defeated Roosevelt for the party's presidential nomination. After the convention, Roosevelt, Frank Munsey, George Walbridge Perkins and other progressive Republicans established the Progressive Party and nominated a ticket of Roosevelt and Hiram Johnson of California at the 1912 Progressive National Convention. The new party attracted several Republican officeholders, although nearly all of them remained loyal to the Republican Party—in California, Johnson and the Progressives took control of the Republican Party.

The party's platform built on Roosevelt's Square Deal domestic program and called for several progressive reforms. The platform asserted that "to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day". Proposals on the platform included restrictions on campaign finance contributions, a reduction of the tariff and the establishment of a social insurance system, an eight-hour workday and women's suffrage. The party was split on the regulation of large corporations, with some party members disappointed that the platform did not contain a stronger call for "trust-busting". Party members also had different outlooks on foreign policy, with pacifists like Jane Addams opposing Roosevelt's call for a naval build-up.

In the 1912 election, Roosevelt won 27.4% of the popular vote compared to Taft's 23.2%, making Roosevelt the only third party presidential nominee to finish with a higher share of the popular vote than a major party's presidential nominee. Both Taft and Roosevelt finished behind Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson, who won 41.8% of the popular vote and the vast majority of the electoral vote. The Progressives elected several Congressional and state legislative candidates, but the election was marked primarily by Democratic gains. The 1916 Progressive National Convention was held in conjunction with the 1916 Republican National Convention in hopes of reunifying the parties with Roosevelt as the presidential nominee of both parties. The Progressive Party collapsed after Roosevelt refused the Progressive nomination and insisted his supporters vote for Charles Evans Hughes, the moderately progressive Republican nominee. Most Progressives joined the Republican Party, but some converted to the Democratic Party and Progressives like Harold L. Ickes would play a role in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. In 1924, La Follette set up another Progressive Party for his presidential run. A third Progressive Party was set up in 1948 for the presidential campaign of former Vice President Henry A. Wallace.

Robert E. Hannegan

Robert Emmet Hannegan (June 30, 1903 – October 6, 1949) was a St. Louis, Missouri politician who served as Commissioner of Internal Revenue from October 1943 to January 1944. He also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1944 to 1947 and United States Postmaster General from 1945 to 1947. After his political career, in 1947, Hannegan and partner Fred Saigh purchased the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball. But Hannegan, ill with heart disease, sold his share in the team to Saigh a few months before his death.

United States Twelfth Fleet

The Twelfth Fleet was a numbered fleet of the United States Navy and was operational from 1 October 1943. The fleet began demobilization in late 1945 and was disestablished in 1946.

Twelfth Fleet was established from the U.S. naval forces under Commander Naval Forces Europe, Admiral Harold Stark when, on 9 September 1943 Admiral Ernest King ordered the consolidation of all U.S. naval forces in Europe under a new Twelfth Fleet. The fleet was actually organized earlier under Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk before all naval forces in Europe were combined. As a command under the United States Naval Forces Europe, the commanders were based from London, England.

Kirk was replaced by Admiral H. Kent Hewitt in August 1945. The fleet had the following commands:

Task Force 122 under command of Rear Adm. Alan G. Kirk to control operations and training for the cross-Channel assault. Forces from TF 122 made up much of D-Day's Western Naval Task Force.

Eleventh Amphibious Force

Landing Craft and Bases, Europe, to receive and control the buildup of landing craft for the invasion.Task Force 129 was the bombarding force during the Bombardment of Cherbourg.

On 15 April, United States Eighth Fleet was disestablished. All U.S. ships and shore bases in the Mediterranean became part of Task Force 125 of the Twelfth Fleet. NAVNAW however was also retained.With the escalating Turkish Straits crisis as well as the Greek Civil War, Task Group 125.4 led by the carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt departed Norfolk Naval Base, Virginia, for the eastern Mediterranean on 8 August 1946 under the command of Rear Admiral John H. Cassady. The key event of this deployment was a highly publicized port visit to Piraeus, Greece, on 5 September 1946. According to the late American historian James Chace, this deployment by Task Group 125.4 "symbolized" the true beginning of the Cold War by demonstrating U.S. support of the pro-Western governments of Greece and Turkey in the face of external Soviet pressure and internal Communist insurrections.On 1 November 1946, Mediterranean responsibilities were transferred to United States Naval Forces Mediterranean. On 12 February 1950, Naval Forces Mediterranean became the United States Sixth Fleet.

What If? 2

What If? 2, subtitled More What If?: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been, is a collection of twenty-five essays dealing with counterfactual history. It was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 2001, ISBN 0-399-14795-0, and edited by Robert Cowley. It is the successor of What If? It was combined with the original What If? in The Collected What If?

World Policy Journal

World Policy Journal is the flagship publication of the World Policy Institute, published by Duke University Press. Focusing on international relations, the publication aims to provide non-United States-centric perspectives to world issues. It contains primarily policy essays, but also book reviews, interviews, and historical essays. Most articles are commissioned.

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