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Max Paul Friedman Professor History

Additional Positions at AU
Professor of International Relations, School of International Service
PhD, 2000, UC Berkeley
MA, 1995, UC Berkeley
BA, 1989, History, Oberlin College

Languages Spoken
Fluent: English, French, German, Spanish
Reading: Italian, Portuguese
Max Paul Friedman joined the History Department at American University in 2007 and holds a joint appointment as Professor of International Relations in the School of International Service. From July 2020-June 2022, he served as Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Friedman specializes in 20th-century U.S. foreign relations. A graduate of Oberlin College and U.C. Berkeley, he was a Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow and has taught at Boulder, Buenos Aires, Dortmund, Tallahassee, and Cologne. He is the author of Rethinking Anti-Americanism: The History of an Exceptional Concept in American Foreign Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2012). His first book, Nazis and Good Neighbors: The United States Campaign against the Germans of Latin America in World War II (Cambridge University Press, 2003) won the Herbert Hoover Prize in U.S. History and the A.B. Thomas Prize in Latin American Studies. He co-edited, with Padraic Kenney, Partisan Histories: The Past in Contemporary Global Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), and with David Engerman and Melani McAlister, The Cambridge History of America and the World Volume 4: Since 1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2022). The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations awarded him the Bernath Article Prize and Bernath Lecture Prize for his scholarship published in journals specializing in diplomatic, intellectual, social, and cultural history. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and American University Scholar/Teacher of the Year. In 2020, he completed a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.


Spring 2024

  • HIST-461 U.S.Foreign Reltns since 1918

Fall 2024

  • HIST-460 U.S. Foreign Reltns 1774-1918

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Friedman emphasizes a transnational approach to scholarly inquiry in his publications on foreign relations, national security, migration, civil liberties, and the politics of historical memory. His regional emphases include the United States, Western Europe and Latin America.


Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship
  • AU Scholar/Teacher of the Year
  • Fulbright Specialist Award
  • Herbert Hoover Book Prize in U.S. History
  • A.B. Thomas Book Prize in Latin American Studies
  • Bernath Article Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
  • Bernath Lecture Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
  • Amos Simpson Prize for Best European History Paper, Southern Historical Association
  • Woodrow Wilson Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship  
  • German Historical Institute Jürgen Heideking Fellowship
  • Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation Dissertation Fellowship

Media Appearances

  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Clarin
  • Die Welt
  • El Universal
  • Folha de Sao Paolo
  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • Le Point
  • L’Humanité
  • Miami Herald
  • National Interest
  • New York Daily News
  • Reforma
  • San Jose Mercury News
  • Süddeutsche Zeitung
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Austrian Broadcasting Corporation
  • BBC
  • C-SPAN
  • CCTV
  • Cubavision
  • Deutschlandfunk
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur
  • National Public Radio
  • Sky News
  • Voice of America

Selected Publications

  • Cambridge History of America and the World: Vol. IV, since 1945. Co-edited with David Engerman and Melani McAlister. Cambridge University Press, 2022.
  • Rethinking Anti-Americanism: The History of an Exceptional Concept in American Foreign Relations. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Nazis and Good Neighbors: The United States Campaign against the Germans of Latin America in World War II. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • Partisan Histories: The Past in Contemporary Global Politics. Max Paul Friedman and Padraic Kenney, eds. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
  • “Making Peaceful Revolution Impossible: Kennedy, the 1963 Coup in Guatemala, and the Alliance against Progress.” By Max Paul Friedman and Roberto Garcia Ferreira. Journal of Cold War Studies 24:1 (Winter 2022), 155-187.
  • “Investment and Invasion: The Clash between Capitalism and State Sovereignty in Latin America, 1903-1936.” In Christopher Dietrich, ed., Diplomacy and Capitalism: The Political Economy of U.S. Foreign Relations (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022).
  • “The Promise of Precommitment in Democracy and Human Rights: The Hopeful, Forgotten Failure of the Larreta Doctrine.” By Tom Long and Max Paul Friedman. Perspectives on Politics (September 2019): 1-16.
  • “La estrategia de Trump en América Latina: ¿Fortalecimiento de la autonomía regional como efecto lateral?” By Nicolás Comini and Max Paul Friedman. Anuario Política Internacional & Política Exterior (Uruguay) 2017: 85-91.
  • “La Doctrine Monroe est morte, vive la Doctrine Monroe. Les relations interaméricaines pendant le mandat de Barack Obama.” Recherches Internationales 107 (2016): 47-62.
  • "Soft Balancing in the Americas: Latin American Opposition to US Intervention, 1898-1936." By Max Paul Friedman and Tom Long. International Security 40:1 (summer 2015): 120-156.
  • "Emigrés as Transmitters of American Protest Culture." Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 13:1 (2014): 87-98.
  • "Reciprocity in Mexican Relations with the United States: Past Indicators of Future Dilemmas." Mexican Law Review 6:2 (2014): 309-17.
  • “Of Sartre, Race, and Rabies: ‘Anti-Americanism’ and the Transatlantic Politics of Intellectual Engagement.” Atlantic Studies 8:3 (September 2011): 361-77.
  • “Fracas in Caracas: Latin American Diplomatic Resistance to United States Intervention in Guatemala in 1954.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 21:4 (2010): 669-89.
  • “Simulacrobama: The Mediated Election of 2008.” Journal of American Studies 43:2 (2009): 341-56.
  • “Anti-Americanism and U.S. Foreign Relations.” Diplomatic History 32:4 (September 2008): 497-514.
  • “Twilight of the Defense Intellectuals.” Modern Intellectual History 5:2 (August 2008): 411-23.
  • “From Manila to Baghdad: Empire and the American Mission Civilisatrice at the Beginning and End of the Twentieth Century.” Revue française d’études américaines 13 (September 2007): 26-38.
  • “Beyond ‘Voting with their Feet’: Toward a Conceptual History of ‘America’ in European Migrant Sending Communities, 1860s to 1914.” Journal of Social History 40:3 (Spring 2007): 557-75.
  • “Trading Civil Liberties for National Security: Warnings from a World War II Program.” Journal of Policy History 17:3 (2005): 294-307.
  • “The Cold War Politics of Exile, Return, and the Search for a Usable Past in Friedrich Karl Kaul’s Es wird Zeit, dass Du nach Hause kommst.” German Life and Letters 58:3 (July 2005): 306-25.
  • “The U.S. State Department and the Failure to Rescue: New Evidence on the Missed Opportunity at Bergen-Belsen.” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 19:1 (Spring 2005): 26-50.
  • “Retiring the Puppets, Bringing Latin America Back In: Recent Scholarship on United States-Latin American Relations.” Diplomatic History 27:5 (November 2003): 621-36.
  • “There Goes the Neighborhood: Blacklisting Germans in Latin America and the Evanescence of the Good Neighbor Policy.” Diplomatic History 27:4 (September 2003): 569-97.
  • “‘Todos Son Peligrosos’: Intervencionismo y Oportunismo en la Expulsión de los Alemanes del Ecuador, 1941-1945.” Procesos: revista ecuatoriana de historia 20 (2003-04): 79-98.
  • “Specter of a Nazi Threat: United States-Colombian Relations, 1939-1945.” The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History 56:4 (April 2000): 563-89.
  • “Private Memory, Public Records, and Contested Terrain: Weighing Oral Testimony in the Deportation of Germans from Latin America during World War II.” The Oral History Review 27:1 (2000): 1-16.       

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • SHAFR Samuel F. Bemis Research Grant
  • American Historical Association Albert J. Beveridge Grant
  • SHAFR W. Stull Holt Fellowship
  • Johns Hopkins Center for Strategic Education Summer Fellowship
  • Lucius N. Littauer Foundation Publication Award
  • Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Grant
  • Japanese American Citizens League Community Affairs Grant
  • Holocaust Educational Foundation Summer Fellowship
  • Tinker Summer Field Research Grant for Latin America
  • Mellon Dissertation Fellowship

Professional Presentations

  • “One Cheer for Democracy: America in the Age of Donald Trump.” Ruhr-Universität Bochum, November 3, 2020.

  • “Prelude to Castro: The United States vs. 'Spiritual Socialism' in Guatemala, 1944-1963.” W.E.B. DuBois Lecture, Humboldt University, Berlin, June 30, 2020.

  • “U.S. Foreign Policy in the Election of 2020.” Cuba en la Política Exterior de los Estados Unidos de América, Instituto Superior de Relaciones Internacionales, Havana, 2019.

  • “Anti-Imperialism, Social Justice, and Cold War Nonalignment in the ‘Banana Trilogy’ by Guatemala’s Nobel Laureate Miguel Ángel Asturias.” Association for Cultural Studies, Shanghai, 2018.

  • “Investment and Invasion: The Clash between Capitalism and State Sovereignty in Latin America, 1903-1933.” The United States and Global Capitalism in the Twentieth Century, Fordham University, 2018.

  • “Foreign Policy and False Dichotomies: Trump’s Ethnonationalism Makes Latin America Irate Again.” Anti-Americanism in the Post-American World, Princeton University, 2018.

  • “Latin American Strategies against U.S. Intervention.” Cuba en la Política Exterior de los Estados Unidos de América, Instituto Superior de Relaciones Internacionales, Havana, 2017.

  • “Transnationalizing the Guatemalan Spring: from Argentine Krausismo to Spiritual Socialism, 1916-1963.” American Historical Association, Denver, 2017.

  • "FRENchEMIES. France and the United States: Junior Partner or Oldest Enemy?" Office of the Secretary of Defense, Historical Office, Pentagon, 2015.
  • "Las elecciones de medio mandato y el sistema politica estadounidense." Embassy of Argentina, Washington, 2014.
  • "Politica exterior de Estados Unidos." Instituto del Servicio Exterior de la Nacion, Buenos Aires, 2014.
  • "Trayectoria y debates del antiamericanismo en America Latina." Consejo Argentino de Relaciones Internacionales (CARI), Buenos Aires, 2014.
  • "From Monologue to Dialogue in U.S. Foreign Policy: Soft Power and Anti-Americanism." Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Washington, 2013.
  • "Simulacrobama and the Neoliberal Crisis: The Collapse of American Exceptionalism." Associate for Cultural Studies, Paris, 2012.
  • "Americans and Politics: Obama and the Economic Crisis." State Department International Visitor Leadership Program, Washington, 2011.
  • “Emigrés as Transmitters of American Protest Culture.” Jewish Voices in the German Sixties, Elmau, Germany, 2011.
  • “Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Cold War.” Foreign Service Institute, Arlington, December 2010.
  • “Rethinking Anti-Americanism.” State Department Office of the Historian, Washington, September 2010.
  • “Race and the Media in the Age of Obama.” Carl-Schurz-Haus, Universität Freiburg, June 2010.
  • “The Myth of Anti-Americanism.” Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University, Philadelphia, October 2008.
  • “Anti-Americanism and U.S. Foreign Relations.” Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations annual Bernath Prize Lecture, Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, New York, 2008.
  • “The Limits of Principle: Resistance to U.S. Interventions in Latin America, 1954-1965.” Latin American Studies Association, Montreal, 2007.
  • “The Function of Anti-Americanism in Transatlantic Relations during  the Vietnam War.” Institut für Geschichte, University of Vienna, 2006.
  • “Transnational Meanings of the 1954 Coup in Guatemala.” Latin American Studies Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2006.
  • “Memory and the Contest for Hegemony in Politics.” The Merits of Memory: Uses and Abuses of a Concept, Martin Luther Universität, Halle-Wittenberg, 2005.
  • “From Manila to Baghdad: Empire and the American Mission Civilisatrice at the Beginning and End of the Twentieth Century.” Association Française d’Etudes Américaines, Lille, France, 2005.
  • “Pathology or Politics? Anti-Americanism, Foreign Policy, and the Limits of Critical Discourse.” European Association for American Studies biennial meeting, Prague, 2004.
  • “Transnational Reach: Conflict and Coercion in the Justice Department Camps for Germans from Latin America.” Organization of American Historians annual meeting, Boston, 2004.
  • “The False Dichotomy of Security and Civil Liberties.” American Historical Association annual meeting, Washington, DC, 2004.