Horns of a Dilemma: Past and Present – How the Idea of National Security Has Shifted Over Time


Throughout history, how have Americans thought about their own self-defense? Have they always thought about it like they do today — as expansive, global, and ideological? Andrew Preston discusses these questions by looking at the history of the idea of national security and how it is different today than in the past, the topic of his current book project. This talk took place at the University of Texas at Austin and was sponsored by the Clements Center.



Andrew Preston is professor of American History and a fellow of Clare College at Cambridge University. His work focuses on war and foreign relations, including how it intersects with domestic politics and culture. He is the author or editor of seven books, including Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy (Knopf, 2012) and, most recently, American Foreign Relations: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2019).