chapter  1
Pages 13

Reviewing Adda Bozeman’s Politics and Culture in International History in 1961, Harold Lasswell welcomed the study as “sagacious, literate, luminous and opportune.”1 That same year, however, another reviewer, in the American Political Science Review, opined that in Bozeman’s book “the American political scientist whose special interest is international relations will not find much that is centrally pertinent to his work.”2 This second reviewer’s conclusion probably said more about American political science in 1961 than about Bozeman’s study. Caught up in the aspiring scientism of their discipline, its ahistoricism and the attention-focusing environment of superpower competition, American political scientists in 1961 were preoccupied with coding and counting, correlating, minimaxing and modeling, and expecting that all of this, in addition to propelling scholarship forward, would somehow also lend the United States an advantage in competition with the Soviet Union. In this disciplinary context, Bozeman’s examination of six thousand years of intercultural history might not have appeared centrally pertinent.