Mark Atwood Lawrence is Associate Professor of History and Senior Fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. During the 2011-2012 academic year, he is Stanley Kaplan Visiting Professor of American Foreign Relations at Williams College. He received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1988 and his doctorate from Yale in 1999. After teaching as a lecturer in history at Yale, he joined the History Department at UT-Austin in 2000. Since then, he has published two books, Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam (University of California Press, 2005) and The Vietnam War: A Concise International History (Oxford University Press, 2008). Lawrence is also co-editor of The First Indochina War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2007), a collection of essays about the 1946-1954 conflict. He is now at work on a study of U.S. policymaking toward the developing world in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Professor Lawrence teaches a range of graduate and undergraduate courses in the history of U.S. foreign relations, national security policy, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. In 2005, he was awarded the President’s Associates’ Award for Teaching Excellence by UT-Austin.
Professor Lawrence's current book project aims to develop a complicated answer to a simple question: Why did the U.S. relationship with much of the Third World deteriorate so badly across the 1960s, the very decade when many Americans grew far more sensitive to the sociopolitical changes that were sweeping the vast parts of the globe emerging from colonialism? While the U.S. relationships with various countries – Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, or the Congo, for example – have received extensive study, no book has attempted to explore U.S. policymaking on a truly global basis. His study will attempt to accomplish this goal by examining U.S. behavior across the 1960s in connection with five diverse countries – India, Brazil, Indonesia, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Egypt. In each of these places, U.S. leaders failed to form or reestablish effective partnerships with local nationalists and presided over increasingly militarized, confrontational policies by the dawn of the 1970s. During the 1960s, he argues, the United States repeatedly closed down opportunities for moderate nationalists and created fertile conditions for the rise of radicalism.
- The Vietnam War: A Concise International History, Oxford University Press, 2008
- The First Vietnam War Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis (with Fred Logevall), Harvard University Press, 2007