tags: Top Young Historians
Teaching Position: Assistant Professor of History, Tulsa University.
Area of Research: Modern American history, U.S. foreign relations history, American empire, America and the world, American covert operations, war and society, American criminal justice system and its internationalization, US War on Drugs, International police training programs.
Education: Doctor of Philosophy, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, Completed May 2006
Dissertation: The Myth of the Addicted Army - Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs
Major Publications: Kuzmarov is the author of The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs(Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009), and is currently writing Modernizing Repression: Police Training and the Violence of Empire (Amhrest, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, under contract).
Kuzmarov is also the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, and reviews including among others: "Modernizing Repression: Police Training, Political Violence and 'Nation-Building' in the American Century" Diplomatic History (April 2009); "The Myth of the 'Addicted Army': Drug Use in Vietnam in Historical Perspective" War and Society (October 2007); "From Counter-Insurgency to Narco-Insurgency: Vietnam and the International War on Drugs" Journal of Policy History (Summer 2008); "American Police Training and Political Violence: From the Philippines Conquest to the Killing Fields of Afghanistan and Iraq," The Asia-Pacific Journal, 11-1-10, March 15, 2010.
Awards: Kuzmarov is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Sachar Dissertation Award, Graduate Studies Association Brandeis University, 2004-2005;
Crown Fellowship, Brandeis University American History Department, 2002-2006.
Formerly Visiting Assistant Professor of History Bucknell University (2006-2009)
Kuzmarov's lecture "The Myth of the Addicted Army" at University of Arkansas-Fayetville, sponsored by the local branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws was broadcast on CSPAN in February 2010.
I first became interested in history hearing stories from my grandfather, Oscar Weinstein, who passed away last year at the age of 99 and had an incredible memory. Intellectually, my perspective was first shaped by a course that I took at Dawson College in Montreal on the so-called anti-psychiatrists - R.D. Laing and Erich Fromm - whose idea that mental illness was a social construct and a product of the pathologies and intolerance of society I found to be compelling. At McGill University, I took a course on crime and punishment which introduced me to radical theories of criminology and examined the social roots and construction of deviance in Western society. Then I read Noam Chomsky, whose work on state crime and terrorism was (and remains) highly illuminating, and Alfred W. McCoy's on the CIA's support for the global narcotics trade, which my own research on the topic confirmed to be right on the mark.
My first book The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs draws on sociological theories about "moral panics" and the construction of deviance in examining the origins and growth of the modern drug war. I try and demonstrate how policy-makers and the media greatly exaggerated the scope and ravages of drug abuse in the army, creating a climate of hysteria over drugs which supplanted public concern about the war itself and resulted in the growth of repressive prohibition measures. The myth of the drug-addicted soldier took hold so widely in my view because it provided a convenient political scapegoat, which helped to deflect attention away from the carnage in Indochina, and to absolve of responsibility those responsible for perpetrating and expanding the war. The second half of the book analyzes the consequences of the War on Drugs, including its link to the growth of the carcerial state in the US and major human rights abuses internationally while at the same time failing to curb supply rates.
Building off this work, I am currently completing a book on American international police training programs entitled Modernizing Repression. Adopting a comparative analysis, I chronicle how police programs have served as an important mechanism for expanding American power from the conquest of the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century through the 21st century occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and resulted in significant human rights violations. This book combines my interests in criminal justice, US foreign policy and covert operations and draws on many of the formative intellectual influences in my professional career and life.
By Jeremy Kuzmarov
About Jeremy Kuzmarov
Top Young Historians' profiles edited by Bonnie K. Goodman
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