Crisis Project Old Format

The Crises Project

A project by students at Cal State LA to update Michael H. Hunt's primary source collection, Crises in U.S. Foreign Policy

Published in 1996, Hunt's Crises in U.S. Foreign Policy remains an exceptional tool for studying the history of U.S. international relations. Most primary source collections in the field present a U.S.-centric collection of documents. In Crises, Hunt took a different approach and gave equal attention to sources from outside the United States. Most source collections also try (in vain) to provide comprehensive coverage, giving us two or three sources on one topic and two or three sources on another, and so on. The result is a superficial approach that never lets us see the complexity of actual diplomacy. In contrast, Hunt chose fewer topics, allowing students to appreciate the role of communication, miscommunication, contingency, and ideology while leaders attempt to manage or exploit crises. 

Launched in 2020, the Crises Project will help us update Hunt's book in two important ways. 

First, newly declassified documents have emerged from government archives since Hunt made this book in the mid-1990s. The Crises Project will supplement Hunt's original chapters by presenting carefully curated primary sources unavailable before. 

Second, the Crises Project will create a small number of new chapters to cover important areas left out in the original volume. Our first expansion chapter will address the Central American civil wars of the 1980s. 

Note: The Crises Project is not affiliated with Yale University Press, publisher of the original volume. Our website will provide an open-access supplement to Hunt's volume.




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