David S. Painter

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For other people named David Painter, see David Painter (disambiguation).

David S. Painter (born 1948) is an associate professor of international history at Georgetown University. He is a leading scholar[1] of the Cold War and United States foreign policy during the 20th century, with particular emphasis on their relation to oil.

Education and career[edit]

Painter studied history at King College (BA 1970), Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (BA 1973), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (PhD 1982).[2] In addition to his career in academia, Painter has worked for the Congressional Research Service, the Department of Energy, and the State Department.[2] In 2008, he was a visiting fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute.[2] He also serves on the advisory board for H-Energy.[3]


Painter's classic work has turned out to be his very first book: Oil and the American Century, published in 1986. Influenced by the work of Ellis Hawley and others,[4] and operating within a corporatist framework,[5] the study is an "impressively researched monograph that devotes particular attention to the close collaboration between public policy makers and oil company official,"[6] a partnership that led to "the evolution of an American foreign oil policy that protected dwindling American domestic reserves, met American security needs, and guaranteed American access to foreign oil."[7] One historian opined that, "if anything proves more remarkable than the ambitious scope of this study, it is the extent to which Painter accomplishes his objectives. [… It] may also be the most important book yet written on America's foreign oil policy."[8] Others described it variously as "exemplary"[9] and "superb".[10] The 1987 UK edition has not been out of print since its original publication.[11]

Painter's 1999 history of the Cold War was described as an "excellent",[12] a book that "presents a very good analysis of the end of the Cold War, emphasizing the economic weakness of the Soviet Union and the strains of the arms race upon the Soviet economy."[13]

Selected publications[edit]

Books and case studies[edit]

Articles and book chapters[edit]


  1. ^ The description is that applied by Cambridge University Press to the contributors to its three-volume history of the Cold War; Painter 2010 appears in Volume I.
  2. ^ a b c "Georgetown People: David S. Painter". georgetown.edu. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "H-Net profile: David S. Painter". H-Net. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Giebelhaus 1987, pp. 770–1.
  5. ^ DeNovo 1987, p. 315.
  6. ^ Hogan 1990, p. 158.
  7. ^ Qaim-Maqami 1986, p. 1104.
  8. ^ McMahon 1987, p. 1071.
  9. ^ Gardner 1987, p. 123.
  10. ^ Kolko 1990, p. 631.
  11. ^ "Private Power and Public Policy". ibtauris.com. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Rogers 2002, p. 167.
  13. ^ Boyle 2000, p. 486


Boyle, Peter G. (2000). "Review Article: The Cold War Revisited". Journal of Contemporary History. 35 (3): 479–489. doi:10.1177/002200940003500309. JSTOR 261032. 
DeNovo, John A. (1987). "Review: Oil and the American Century by David S. Painter". Middle East Journal. 41 (2): 314–315. JSTOR 4327573. 
Gardner, Lloyd (1987). "Review: Oil and the American Century by David S. Painter". International History Review. 9 (1): 123–126. JSTOR 40105706. 
Giebelhaus, August W. (1987). "Review: Oil and the American Century by David S. Painter". The American Historical Review. 92 (3): 770–771. JSTOR 1870099. 
Hogan, Michael J. (1990). "Corporatism". The Journal of American History. 77 (1): 153–160. JSTOR 2078647. 
Kolko, Gabriel (1990) [1968]. The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943–1945. New York, NY: Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-72757-6. 
McMahon, Robert J. (1987). "Review: Oil and the American Century by David S. Painter". The Journal of American History. 73 (4): 1070–1071. JSTOR 1904143. 
Qaim-Maqami, Linda (1986). "Review: Oil and the American Century by David S. Painter". The Journal of Economic History. 46 (4): 1104–1105. doi:10.1017/s0022050700051202. JSTOR 2121871. 
Rogers, Paul (2002). "Review: The Cold War: An International History by David S. Painter". The Slavonic and East European Review. 80 (1): 167–168. JSTOR 4213414. 

External links[edit]