16th January 2012: Charles Hill on Grand Strategies


Yale’s Charles Hill discusses his book Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft and World Order (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010). This Hoover Institution clip is interesting for Hill’s definition of grand strategy; his pedagogical philosophy in teaching the classics (and what approaches he rejects); and his discussion of several examples from Grand Strategies and Hill’s diplomatic career. Austin Bramwell at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen blog ran a three-part series (parts 1, 2 & 3) that was highly critical of Hill’s presentation. Yale’s Jim Sleeper also responded with a ‘civic-republican’ negative review of Hill’s book Grand Strategies in Foreign Policy Magazine which reads as inter-departmental warfare between the political science and history disciplines. I think Grand Strategies makes a well-argued point about literature’s role in an analyst or diplomat’s strategic education – and the examples could be expanded and further elaborated on.  This is perhaps a clip to be re-watched using Robert Diltssleight of mouth patterns for framing, persuasion and changing beliefs.