Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften

Ron Robin (New York): The Martial Muses: Roberta and Albert Wohlstetter and the Cold World They Made Together*

  • Wann 07.01.2016 von 18:00 bis 20:00
  • Wo Hörsaal 1072 | Unter den Linden 6
  • iCal

Vortrag im Rahmen der Ringvorlesung "Neue Forschungen zum Kalten Krieg"


Chair: Bernd Greiner (Berliner Kolleg Kalter Krieg / Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung)


Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter were the power couple of strategic studies during the Cold War period and its immediate aftermath. Both produced seminal texts that have entered the cannon of strategic studies, such as Roberta’s “Surprise at Pearl Harbor” or Albert’s “Delicate Balance of Terror”.  It was Roberta, rather than the flamboyant Albert, who provided the foundations for the Wohlstetter doctrine with her study of the Pearl Harbor intelligence failure. Albert’s formidable contributions were provocative and innovative, but his intellectual debt to Roberta was quite profound. As a close reading of the Wohlstetter studies reveals, domestic challenges in the United States informed and at times eclipsed their preoccupation with the nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union. Moreover, they fostered a cadre of acolytes who implemented their mentors’ doctrine during the George W. Bush administration. These include Zalmay Khalilzad, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, to mention but a few – their insistence on constructing a nuclear threat in Iraq was directly linked to the work of the Wohlstetters.


Ron Robin, Dr., is Professor of History, Media, Culture and Communication at New York University.


* Veranstaltung in englischer Sprache


Die Ringvorlesung „Neue Forschungen zum Kalten Krieg“ ist eine gemeinsame Veranstaltung der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und des Berliner Kollegs Kalter Krieg. Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier


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