Hahn, Peter L. (Peter Hahn)

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Hahn, Peter L. (Peter Hahn)


Education: Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A., 1982; Vanderbilt University, M.A., 1984, Ph.D., 1987.


Office—Department of History, Ohio State University, 106 Dulles Hall, 230 W. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210. E-mail—[email protected].


Historian, educator, and writer. Ohio State University, Columbus, professor of history.


Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (executive director).


Research grants from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Truman Library Institute, the John F. Kennedy Library, the Lyndon Johnson Foundation, the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, the Office of United States Air Force History, and the U.S. Army Center of Military History.


The United States, Great Britain, and Egypt, 1945-1956: Strategy and Diplomacy in the Early Cold War, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1991.

(Editor, with Mary Ann Heiss) Empire and Revolution: The United States and the Third World since 1945, Ohio State University Press (Columbus, OH), 2001.

Caught in the Middle East: U.S. Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 2004.

Crisis and Crossfire: The United States and the Middle East since 1945, Potomac Books (Washington, DC), 2005.

Historical Dictionary of United States-Middle East Relations, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2007.

Contributor of essays to periodicals, including Diplomatic History, Reviews in American History, and International History Review.


Peter L. Hahn has written and coedited several books in his specialty area of diplomatic history in the Middle East since 1940. In his book Caught in the Middle East: U.S. Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961, the author follows the United States and its efforts after World War II to improve Israeli-Arab relations. Hahn explains how the U.S. involvement became increasingly complex under U.S. Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The author also discusses how peace was not always the number one goal of U.S. involvement, but was often supplanted by Cold War issues concerning the Soviet Union. In addition, Hahn explores how the U.S. was caught in the middle as they became the major geopolitical force in the world, yet were unable to find a resolution to the conflict.

In a review of Caught in the Middle East in the Nation, Mark Mazower noted that "the period from 1945 to 1970 [is] of extraordinary importance for anyone seeking to understand the roots of US Middle East policy, for it was in these years that the region moved gradually from being of secondary importance for Washington policy-makers to one of their central preoccupations." Mazower added that the author "emphasizes the difficulties that faced US policy- makers as a result of infighting, devious lobby groups and Beltway shenanigans." Bruce J. Evensen, writing in American Jewish History, noted that the author "reconstructs the power vacuum reluctantly filled by the United States following the collapse of British influence in the Arab Near East after World War II." Evensen also wrote: "Hahn's relentless interrogation of primary materials across two administrations during the early Cold War deserves a wide reading." Middle East Journal contributor John Creed commented that Hahn's "work offers interesting insights, some of which may constitute correctives over previous accounts."

Crisis and Crossfire: The United States and the Middle East since 1945 provides a summary of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East beginning with the end of World War II up to the time of the book's publication in 2005. Hahn explores the increasing involvement by the U.S. in the Middle East in relation to the Cold War. He discusses various leaders in the context of Arab and Israeli nationalism, and how the government of the U.S. interfered in Middle Eastern politics to defeat nationalistic movements in favor or pro-Western leaders and political movements. The author also details the many peace processes the occurred over the years in an effort to assuage the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Middle East Journal contributors Scott Lasensky and Kerem Levitas wrote that Crisis and Crossfire "sets out to paint the ‘broad contours of U.S. policy in the Middle East." The reviewers added: "It succeeds in its goal and provides an informative background for students of foreign policy, the newcomer to the region, and scholars in search of a quick reference."



American Jewish History, March, 2004, Bruce J. Evensen, review of Caught in the Middle East: U.S. Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961, p. 129.

Middle East Journal, autumn, 2004, John Creed, review of Caught in the Middle East, p. 679; summer, 2006, Scott Lasensky and Kerem Levitas, review of Crisis and Crossfire: The United States and the Middle East since 1945, p. 602; summer, 2006, Spencer Mawby, review of Caught in the Middle East, p. 571.

Nation, August 30, 2004, Mark Mazower, review of Caught in the Middle East, p. 38.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2006, review of Crisis and Crossfire.

Shofar, fall, 2005, Robert O. Freedman, review of Caught in the Middle East, p. 198.


H-Net Reviews,http://www.h-net.org/ (March 19, 2007), Jacqueline Swansinger, review of Caught in the Middle East.

Ohio State University History Department Web site,http://history.osu.edu/ (March 19, 2007), faculty profile of author.

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