Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Announcing a New History Institute on the Great Captains in American History

Announcing a New History Institute on the Great Captains in American History

  • December 14, 2012

Announcing a New History Institute on the Great Captains in American History

  • December 14, 2012


APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 31, 2013  (best to apply early)

Building on our successful history weekend in 2012 on “Great Battles in American History,” we now invite teachers to apply for a weekend-long program on “Great Captains in American History,” covering those American military leaders who made great marks on U.S. history through their generalship.

The distinguished scholars David Eisenhower, Jim Lacey, Edward G. Lengel, Peter Mansoor, Allen Peskin, Jean Edward Smith, Lewis Sorley, and Samuel Watson will cover great military leaders from General George Washington to General David Petraeus.

This program is sponsored by the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Madeleine and W. W. Keen Butcher History Institute in cooperation with the First Division Museum at Cantigny, a division of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.  This is the eighth in a series of weekends devoted to teaching military history.


Conference agenda and application information are printed below.


Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22, 2012
The First Division Museum at Cantigny
1 S. 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL


Saturday, April 21, 2013

9:00 am General George Washington
Edward G. Lengel, University of Virginia                                                                               

10:15 am break 

10:30 am Major General Andrew Jackson
Samuel Watson, USMA

12:00 pm lunch

12:45 pm General Winfield Scott
Allen Peskin, Cleveland State University

2:00 pm break

2:15 pm General Ulysses S. Grant
Jean Edward Smith, Marshall University                                                                        

3:30 pm break 

3:45 pm General John J. Pershing
Jim Lacey, U.S. Marine Corps War College

5:00 pm Tour of the Museum

6:00 pm Reception and Dinner

Sunday, April 22, 2013

8:30 a.m. General Dwight D. Eisenhower
David Eisenhower, University of Pennyslvania/FPRI

9:45 a.m. break 

10:00 a.m. General Creighton Abrams
Lewis Sorley, historian

11:15 a.m. break

11:30 a.m. General David Petreaus
Peter Mansoor, The Ohio State University

12:45 Adjournment and Lunch

The conference begins at 8:50 am CT on Saturday, April 20 and concludes at 1:00 pm CT on Sunday, April 21, 2013.

Social studies and history teachers and curriculum supervisors are invited to apply for participation in the History Institute.   Forty participants will be selected to receive:

  • free room and board;
  • assistance in designing curriculum and special projects based on the History Institute;
  • stipends of $200 for well-developed lesson plans for posting on our website that effectively utilize the experience of the weekend conference, or documentation of in-service presentations based on the weekend;
  • partial travel reimbursements (up to $250) for participants outside the vicinity of the conference center;
  • subscription to Footnotes, FPRI’s bulletin for high school teachers.
  • a certificate of participation in a program offering 12 hours of instruction. In addition, for those interested, college credit is available for a small fee through our cooperating institution, Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Please email to a resume and a short statement describing your current teaching or professional assignments, your reasons for wanting to attend, and how your students or school district will benefit from your participation. NOTE: At the time of application, you are asked to make a commitment either to prepare a curriculum unit based on the weekend or to do in-service activities based on the weekend.

Schools with a school membership in FPRI’s Wachman Center are guaranteed one place at one History Institute weekend per year (but be sure to note your school’s membership on your application). For information about school membership, contact Eli Gilman at

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 31, 2013  (best to apply early)

Videotapes of the entire conference will be posted subsequently on our website.


The Invention of the Modern Middle East, Post WWI, and the Reinvention of the Middle East, Post-Arab Spring
October 2013 

The Creation of Liberal Democracy: Did It Happen in Philadelphia By Accident?
September 28-29 2013 in Philadelphia 

Understanding Iran and the Geopolitics of the Middle East
Hosted and Cosponsored by the Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Cosponsored by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
October 2012 

Great Battles and How They Have Shaped American History
Hosted and Cosponsored by the First Division Museum at Cantigny
April 2012 

Teaching the Middle East: Between Authoritarianism and Reform
October 2011

Civil-Military Relations and American Democracy
Cosponsored and Hosted by the First Division Museum at Cantigny
April 2011

China and India: Ancient Civilizations, Rising Powers, Great Societies, and Contrasting Models of Development
Cosponsored and Hosted by three centers at the University of Pennsylvania:
Center for East Asian Studies, South Asia Center, Lauder CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research)
March 2011 

The Role of the Military in America’s Domestic Hisory
Cosponsored by the Cantigny First Division Foundation
Hosted by the First Division Museum
April 2010

The Invention and Development of Rotorcraft: A Case Study in Teaching Innovation
Hosted by the American Helicopter Museum, West Chester, PA
September 2009

What Students Need to Know About America’s Wars, Part II
Hosted by the First Division Museum, Wheaton, IL
May 2009

For information about future and previous programs, as well as essays, slides, videotapes and classroom lessons based on these and other weekends, visit: /education/history-institute.

Support for our weekends on military history is provided by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. In-kind support is provided by the First Division Museum at Cantigny, a division of the McCormick Foundation. The Butcher History Institute is supported by a grant from the Butcher Family Foundation.


Co-chaired by David Eisenhower and Walter A. McDougall, the Butcher History Institute is designed to bring high school teachers from around the country together with the nation’s top scholars in history, political science, and other fields for intensive weekends of lectures and discussion.

David Eisenhower is an FPRI Senior Fellow and a Lindback Award for Excellence of Teaching-recipient Public Policy Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications, where he teaches communications and the president. He is author of the New York Times bestseller “Eisenhower at War, 1943-45” and “Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D.Eisenhower, 1961-1969.”

Walter A. McDougall is an FPRI Senior Fellow and Alloy-Ansin Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, he is author most recently of a two-volume American history, Freedom Just Around the Corner: A New American History, 1585-1828 (2004) and Throes of Democracy: America in the Civil War Era, 1829-1877 (March 2008). His 1997 book “Promised Land, Crusader State: the History of America’s Encounter with the World Since 1776,” was described by Walter Russell Mead as having “changed the way the history of American foreign policy is taught at America’s leading universities.” A veteran of the Vietnam War, he received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.


To join our mailing list, please send an email with complete contact information to:

The First Division Museum at Cantigny, part of the McCormick Foundation, promotes public learning about America’s military heritage and affairs through the compelling history of the US Army’s 1st Infantry Division, the famed “Big Red One.” The foundation preserves the Big Red One’s history from 1917 to the present and promotes learning through the First Division Museum at Cantigny; the Robert R. McCormick Research Center; the Cantigny Military History Series of books and conferences; and a wide variety of public and educational outreach programs and grants.


Founded in 1955, FPRI is devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests abroad. We add perspective to events by fitting them into the larger historical and cultural context of international politics. A font of ideas for policymakers, a trusted resource for journalists, a center for scholars, a prolific publisher online and in print, FPRI aspires like Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin to embrace the nation and the world.


Begun in 1990, FPRI’s Wachman Center is dedicated to improving civic and international literacy in the community and in the classroom. The Center is named for FPRI’s former president Marvin Wachman (1917-2007).

For more information, contact:

Foreign Policy Research Institute
1528 Walnut Street, Suite 610
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Tel. 215-732-3774, ext. 255 (Eli Gilman)

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