James G. Hershberg

James Hershberg

James G. Hershberg

Professor of History and International Affairs

Full-time Faculty

Department: GW Cold War Group


Office Phone: 202-994-6476
Fax: 202-994-6231

Born in New York City (Brooklyn) in 1960, Professor Hershberg received an A.B. in American History from Harvard College in 1982; a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University in 1985; and a Ph. D. from Tufts University in 1989. After teaching at Tufts and the California Institute of Technology in 1989-91, he directed the Cold War International History Project (and edited the project's Bulletin) from 1991-96 before coming to George Washington University in 1997 and now edits the CWIHP book series co-published by the Stanford University and Wilson Center Presses. He received the 1994 Stuart Bernath Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Policy for James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993; Stanford University Press, 1995).

Currently working on various case studies of U.S. communications with Cold War adversaries (Cuba, China, North Vietnam, Iran), he is a co-founder of The GW Cold War Group, a Cold War studies group at GWU for both faculty and students, and works closely with the National Security Archive, a declassified documents repository and research institute based at the University. 

International history of the Cold War, contemporary international relations, and nuclear history

Ph.D., Tufts University

HIST 2340 U.S. Diplomatic History

HIST 3045 International History of the Cold War

HIST 3334 The Nuclear Arms Race

HIST 6051 Re-thinking Cold War History

HIST 6330 Modern U.S. Foreign Policy

  • Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam. Stanford University Press/Wilson Center Press, 2012.
  • "The Cuban Missile Crisis." In The Cambridge History of the Cold War, vol. 2, ed. O.A. Westad and M.P. Leffler. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • "Informing the Enemy: Sino-American 'Signaling' and the Vietnam War, 1965." In Behind the Bamboo Curtain: China, Vietnam, and the Cold War, ed. Priscilla Roberts, 193-257. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Stanford University Press, 2006. Co-authored with Chen Jian.
  • "‘The Jig Was Up’: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the International Control of Atomic Energy, 1947-49." In Reappraising Oppenheimer: Centennial Studies and Reflections, ed. Cathryn Carson and David A. Hollinger, 149-183. Berkeley: Office for History of Science and Technology, University of California, Berkeley, 2005.
  • James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993; Stanford University Press, 1995).

Other scholarly and popular articles have focused on topics related to the Cold War and nuclear history such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam and Afghanistan Wars, the Iran-contra affair, and revelations from the communist archives.