Chris and his book at the Bronx Beer Hall
Big news this week as Cambridge University Press announces the publication of the new book Oil Revolution:Anticolonial Elites, Sovereign Rights, and the Economic Culture of Decolonization by Fordham History’s own Professor Christopher Dietrich. The eagerly awaited volume is the result of many years of scholarship by Dietrich. Emerging from his doctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin, Dietrich’s book tackles a topic of major significance, not only for the history of twentieth-century US foreign relations, but to the shape of the world today:
According to the website of Cambridge University Press:
Through innovative and expansive research, Oil Revolution analyzes the tensions faced and networks created by anti-colonial oil elites during the age of decolonization following World War II. This new community of elites stretched across Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Algeria, and Libya. First through their western educations and then in the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, these elites transformed the global oil industry. Their transnational work began in the early 1950s and culminated in the 1973–4 energy crisis and in the 1974 declaration of a New International Economic Order in the United Nations. Christopher R. W. Dietrich examines how these elites brokered and balanced their ambitions via access to oil, the most important natural resource of the modern era.
The History Department remembers fondly when leading scholars in Dietrich’s field, including Mark Bradley of the University of Chicago, Monica Kim of NYU and Craig Daigle at City College joined Fordham’s own Asif Siddiqi and other faculty and students to workshop the book manuscript in the Spring semester of 2015. It was clear then that this was an exciting project, and the glowing series of endorsements from major figures in Dietrich’s field on the book’s back cover make it clear that he has brought the project to its full fruition. Congratulations Chris!
Oil Revolution: Anticolonial Elites, Soveriegn Rights, and the Economic Culture of Decolonization by Christopher Dietrich is currently available in paperback and hardback.
Secretary of State Robert Lansing (far left) in Washington, D.C., no date (between 1916 and 1918), Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Greetings from the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.! I am here doing research in the Robert Lansing and Charles Evan Hughes papers. Lansing was Secretary of State for Woodrow Wilson during the Paris negotiations for the peace treaty to World War I. In his papers, I am looking at the correspondence relating to the founding of the League of Nations and the ideas of sovereignty and self-determination for oppressed peoples in Central Europe and, to a lesser extent, the former Ottoman Empire. Hughes was Secretary of State from 1921 to 1925. In his papers, I am examining what was known as “The Mandates Controversy,” which was essentially a debate in the United States about the secret treaties between the British and French governments, both during and after the war, to divide up the rich oil-producing areas of the Middle East. How would the League of Nations monitor the “trustee powers” of Britain and France, as they ostensibly managed the Mandates of Mesopotamia and Syria for their own benefit? What would be the role of the United States, which had not joined the League of Nations but still maintained its right, as a participant in the Allied victory in the war, to representation in the Mandates? How would the trustee powers respond to American entreaties to open up their economies to American, in particular Standard Oil, investment? I am finding a lot of interesting information and, as a nice surprise, also found an old friend, who has just accepted a job at King’s College in London, in the Reading Room.
In the evenings, I am taking my 7-year-old son around the Capitol Hill area and giving him contemporary civic lessons. “Look, son, there’s Congress. That’s where petty lawmakers have tried to gut education spending and prevent major social welfare advances for our most disadvantaged citizens,” and that sort of thing. I hope everyone is having an equally fantastic summer!
Brandon Gauthier at the World Congress for Korean Politics and Society, August 2015
, a PhD candidate in the History Department, traveled to South Korea this past summer where he presented personal research and reconnected with the culture he intimately studies. Here is what Brandon has to say about the trip…
“Just for a word — “neutrality,” a word which in war time had so often been disregarded — just for a scrap of paper Great Britain was going to make war on a kindred nation who desired nothing better than to be friends with her.”
– Theobald Bethmann Hollweg, German Chancellor
“Have any of you any of those neat little Treasury £1 notes? If you have, burn them; they are only scraps of paper. What are they made of? Rags. What are they worth? The whole credit of the British Empire.”
– David Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer
On Thursday, September 24 at 4PM join the History department in Keating 319 for a talk by Isabel Hull, the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. Professor Hull’s talk is entitled, “Rethinking the First World War Through the Lens of International Law”.
The history of the complex relationship between the US and the Korean peninsula keeps Fordham PhD student Brandon K. Gauthier on the move. Continue reading