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Robert K. Brigham

Professor of History on the Shirley Ecker Boskey Chair

Robert. K. Brigham, Shirley Ecker Boskey Professor of History and International Relations, joined the Vassar faculty in 1994. He is a specialist on the history of U.S. foreign policy, particularly the Vietnam War. Along with several teaching awards, he has also earned fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for Humanities, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. In addition, Brigham has been Albert Shaw Endowed Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, Mellon Senior Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University (Clare College), visiting professor of international relations at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, summer seminar faculty at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History (Fulbright) at University College Dublin.

Brigham is author or co-author of nine books, among them Reckless: Henry Kissinger and the Vietnam War (PublicAffairs, 2018); American Foreign Relations: A History, Volume I & Volume II, 8th Edition  [along with Thomas Paterson, J. Garry Clifford, Michael Donoghue, and Kenneth Hagan] (Cengage, 2015); Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power (PublicAffairs, 2008); Is Iraq Another Vietnam? (PublicAffairs, 2006); ARVN: Life and Death in the South Vietnamese Army (Kansas, 2006); Argument Without End: In Search of Answers to the Vietnam Tragedy (PublicAffairs, 1999), written with former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and James G. Blight of Brown University; and Guerilla Diplomacy: The NLF’s Foreign Relations and the Vietnam War (Cornell, 1998).

Brigham serves on several editorial and governing boards, including election to the Council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the Advisory Board of the Clinton Institute for American Studies at University College Dublin. Brigham is the Director of the Vassar-West Point Initiative. He is also an elected member of the London-based International Institute for Security Studies, one of the world’s leaders on global security issues.