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Seth Jacobs


Seth Jacobs

Telephone: (617) 552-8459

Office Location: Stokes Hall, Room S389


Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2000

Fields of Interest

Twentieth-century United States; U.S. foreign policy; U.S.-Asian relations

Academic Profile

Professor Jacobs is a political and cultural historian of the United States in the twentieth century, especially the period since World War II, and his research interests focus on the connection between U.S. domestic culture and foreign policy.  He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in American military and diplomatic history, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and America in the 1950s.  The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations has honored him with two Stuart L. Bernath Prizes: for best article published in the field of U.S. diplomatic history (2002) and best book (2006).  He won the New England Historical Association’s James P. Hanlan Book Award in 2013.

Representative Publications

  • Rogue Diplomats: The Proud Tradition of Disobedience in American Foreign Policy (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)
  • “Laos” in A Companion to John F. Kennedy, Marc J. Selverstone, ed. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014)
  • The Universe Unraveling: American Foreign Policy in Cold War Laos (Cornell University Press, 2012)
  • "Ngo Dinh Diem: The Impossible Ally" in Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Vietnam War Anthology, Third Edition, Andrew Rotter, ed. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010)
  • "'No Place to Fight a War': Laos and the Evolution of U.S. Policy toward Vietnam, 1954-1963" in Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars: Local, National, and Transnational Perspectives, Mark Philip Bradley and Marilyn B. Young, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • "The Religious Roots of U.S. Support for Ngo Dinh Diem" in Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War, Fourth Edition, Robert McMahon, ed. (Houghton Mifflin, 2008)
  • "'A Monumental Struggle of Good versus Evil': American Crusaders in Vietnam and Iraq," New England Journal of History, Volume 64, Number 1, Fall 2007
  • Cold War Mandarin: Ngo Dinh Diem and the Origins of America's War in Vietnam, 1950-1963 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006)
  • America's Miracle Man in Vietnam: Ngo Dinh Diem, Religion, Race and U.S. Intervention in Southeast Asia, 1950-1957 (Duke University Press, 2004)
  • "’Our System Demands the Supreme Being': America's Religious Revival and the 'Diem Experiment,' 1954-1955," Diplomatic History, Volume 25, Number 2, Fall 2001