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The Evolution of American Isolationism

Leading historians Douglas Irwin, Charles Kupchan, and Margaret  MacMillan  explore the United States in the era of the Council’s founding.  
Douglas A. Irwin
Charles Kupchan
Margaret MacMillan
Ivo H. Daalder
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About This Event

From its birth in 1922 as a worldly outpost in a provincial hotbed of isolationism, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs has helped Chicagoans understand the importance of US global engagement. The Council led the great debate over American participation in World War II and has since driven discussions over the nation’s role in the world. For part two of our Century of Global Leadership series, renowned historians will explore the role and recurrence of isolationism in American political discourse and foreign policy and the parallels that can be drawn from our nation’s past to our current and future global outlooks.  

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About the Event Series

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2022. For 100 years the Council has guided the way Chicago thinks about its place in the world and how the world engages with Chicago. As we prepare to launch the Council’s second century, we will reflect on key themes and pivotal periods that shaped its first. Join us to hear from leading historians and foreign policy analysts, people who were in the room, and leaders who changed the world.

About the Speakers
John French Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College
Douglas Irwin is a John French professor of economics at Dartmouth College. Previously, he worked on the staff of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers and in the International Finance Division at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC.
Professor of International Affairs, Georgetown University
Alongside teaching at Georgetown University, Charles A. Kupchan is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council in the Obama White House. He was also Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council during the first Clinton administration.
Emeritus Professor of International History, University of Oxford
Margaret MacMillan is a professor of History at the University of Toronto and an emeritus professor of International History at Oxford University. Her research specializes in British imperial history and the international history of the 19th and 20th centuries.
President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder
Ivo H. Daalder served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013 prior to becoming President of the Council. Previously, he was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution and served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. He is the author or editor of 10 books.
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder
Century of Global Leadership graphic
Century of Global Leadership This event is part of our Century of Global Leadership series, a four-part event series reflecting on key themes and pivotal periods that have shaped the Council's first century.
Chicago and the World Learn more about Dick Longworth's new book, "Chicago and the World: 100 Years of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs" and the Council's history through archival photos, videos, and more.