Universiteit Leiden

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Andrew Gawthorpe

University Lecturer

Dr. A.J. Gawthorpe
+31 71 527 1740

I am a scholar of modern American history and foreign policy. My first book was a history of American nation-building during the Vietnam War and is available from Cornell University Press. I write widely for popular media as well as academic publications and host a podcast about American politics, foreign policy and culture called America Explained. I am also a member of the Young Academy Leiden. I previously held a research fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School, a teaching fellowship at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, and a civil service appointment in the British Cabinet Office.

More information about Andrew Gawthorpe

I am a scholar of modern American history and foreign policy. While my work is mainly historical in nature, it is driven by a fascination with how the contemporary is shaped by the past.

I have published extensively on the Vietnam War, including a book, To Build as well as Destroy: The American Experience of Nation-Building in South Vietnam, available from Cornell University Press.  My research has also been published in The Historical Journal, The Journal of Cold War Studies, The Journal of Strategic Studies, and Small Wars & Insurgencies.

I am a passionate teacher and public communicator. In 2019, I received the Institute for History’s biannual teaching prize, the Carla Musterd Award. I was also previously nominated for the teaching prize of the Faculty of Humanities. I consider public communication to be a vital part of a scholar’s role and frequently publish opinion pieces and op-eds. My writing has been published on every continent, including in The Guardian, Foreign Affairs, The Los Angeles Times, and many more outlets.  I also host a podcast called America Explained.

Prior to working at Leiden, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Harvard Kennedy School, a Teaching Fellow at the UK Defence Academy, and a civil servant in the British Cabinet Office. I received my graduate training at the University of Cambridge and King’s College London.

University Lecturer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • History and International Studies

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 0.11e



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