Baseball as Grand Strategy, HUMS 241b (Spring 2020)

Meeting Time: 
F 9:25-11:15

Course Description:

Aristotle called statecraft one of the practical arts and cited athletics as a case in point: if you can grasp the interesting complexities of a sport, you’ll be prepared to live life at its best. Baseball stands out in this quest: the philosophy of its unique equipment; the skill, speed, judgment, and strategies of performance; respect for its rules and traditions but open to studied change; recognizing bitter realities while pursuing inspiring ideals. All these closely relate the game to the responsibilities and opportunities of the professions: law, governance, business, health care, and education. The seminar will span the range of references in the Humanities, expressed in works of literary and artistic merit in compelling style and substance.

Led by:

Professor Charles Hill is a diplomat in residence and lecturer in International Studies at Yale University. He is a career minister in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving in a variety of roles such as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East at the State Department, Chief of Staff of the same, and executive aid to former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz.

He served as special consultant on policy to the secretary-general of the United Nations from 1992 to 1996. Professor Hill has collaborated with former U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on Egypt’s Road to Jerusalem, a memoir of the Middle East peace negotiations, and Unvanquished, about U.S. relations with the U.N. in the post–cold war period. He is also the editor of the three-volume Papers of U.N. Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali, published by Yale University Press.

His book “Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft and World Order” is published by Yale University Press. His “Trial of a Thousand Years: Islamism and World Order” is published by the Hoover Press, Stanford University.