Hitchcock, William I.
HITCHCOCK, William I.
Married Elizabeth R. Varon (a historian); children: two. Education: Kenyon College, B.A., 1986; Yale University, Ph.D., 1994.
Home—Ashland, MA. Office—Wellesley College, 106 Central St., Wellesley, MA 02481. E-mail—[email protected].
Educator. Yale University, assistant professor, 1996-99, Wellesley College, visiting assistant professor, 1999—.
Sarai Ribicoff Prize for best teacher in the humanities, 1999.
France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944-1954, Chapel Hill Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1998.
(Editor, with Paul Kennedy) From War to Peace: Altered Strategic Landscapes in the Twentieth Century, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2000.
The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, 1945-2000, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2003.
William I. Hitchcock is visiting assistant professor in the history department at Wellesley College. He teaches and researches twentieth-century European history, in particular its political, diplomatic, and military aspects. He also teaches courses on the history of international relations, the two World Wars of the twentieth century, the Cold War, and Europe since 1945.
In France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944-1954, Hitchcock examines the restoration of the French economy and the French role in diplomatic leadership after World War II. In the book, he notes that many other historians have considered France to be dependent on American economic and military aid during this period, but he provides a reevaluation of this idea, describing France's "efforts, sometimes successful and sometimes not, to overcome this dependence or at least compensate for it in various ways." In his discussion, Hitchcock relied on the recently opened French Foreign Ministry archives, which many previous researchers had not used as extensively. In Diplomatic History, John Gillingham wrote, "This lucid account should lay to rest whatever remains of the notion that the French were passive onlookers to the great events of post-World War II diplomacy in Western Europe."
The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, 1945-2002 considers the rise in Europe's influence since the middle of the twentieth century. This ascension would seem unlikely, given that in the middle of the century, the continent was devastated by two all-encompassing wars, economic depression, and the presence of several dictatorships. However, Hitchcock notes the factors that aided European recovery: Europe joined forces with the United States; the Cold War was not as draining on Europe as it was on the United States; when Europeans rebuilt after World War II, they used the latest technologies and methods; and Europeans chose democracy and peaceful reform rather than violent revolution. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that the book "does provide a clear exposition of postwar developments." In the Washington Post, William Drozdiak wrote that Hitchcock "has written a lively and insightful account of Europe's extraordinary transformation since World War II that draws on a fresh trove of information released since the demise of the Soviet empire."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, Frank Ray Willis, review of France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944-1954, December, 1999, p. 1772.
Choice, April, 1999, C. Fink, review of France Restored, p. 1524.
Contemporary Review, March, 2001, review of From War to Peace: Altered Strategic Landscapes in the Twentieth Century, p. 192.
Diplomatic History, summer, 2000, John Gillingham, review of France Restored, p. 543.
Foreign Affairs, March, 1989, Stanley Hoffman, review of France Restored, p. 148.
History Today, November, 1998, Alex Barker, review of France Restored, p. 57.
International History Review, December, 2001, Michael L. Dockrill, review of From War to Peace, p. 956.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2002, review of The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, 1945-2000, p. 1589.
Publishers Weekly, November 18, 2002, review of The Struggle for Europe, p. 51.
Washington Post, February 23, 2003, p. BW06.*