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Michael Barnhart Photo

Distinguished Teaching Professor (Ph.D., Harvard University, 1980)

Curriculum vitae

Office: SBS N-321


Interests: U.S. foreign policy, U.S.-Japan relations

After early interest in Japanese-American relations, particularly on the Japanese side, I have turned my attention to a broad, interpretive analysis of American foreign relations. My current and apparently eternal project is tentatively titled E Pluribus: A Political History of American Foreign Relations from Jamestown to Obama. Chapter 26, "The Music Man," is currently under pen. It examines the evolutions and revolutions in Ronald Reagan's foreign policies with special attention to the impact of neoconservatism and the changing political dynamics within the Republican Party.  I also remain deeply interested in teaching, particularly undergraduate instruction. I recently coordinated a thorough revision of the History Department's curriculum in American history. And I continue to refine my innovative senior seminar, "Great Power Rivalries, 1936–1947," otherwise known as the World War Two simulation, in which each student represents an actual senior policymaker from one of eight great powers in that tumultuous era for the entire semester. If you ever thought you could do better than Roosevelt, Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, or Jiang, here is your chance.


•  HIS 250: Second World War
•  HIS 271: The United States in the Twentieth-century World
•  HIS 555: War and the Military


"Domestic Politics, Interservice Impasse, and Japan's Decisions for War"