This study group will examine the sweeping history of American foreign policy, divided into four distinct eras. Although the author asserts that a country's foreign policy is shaped by its economic and military might, he then concedes that the United States has always been unique in that its power was never the only determinant of its foreign policies. We will explore other features of American foreign policy which have included: the desire to spread its own political values; the frequent recourse to economic leverage to secure its goals; and the democratic character of its global relations in which public opinion exerts an influence on policy makers. We will study how these features develop over the "four ages" designated by the author. We will read and discuss Michael Mandelbaum's The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy
(Oxford University Press, 2022). This is an accessible and readable account of America's place in the world, specifically through the lens of foreign policy.