On June 16, 2017 The Institute of World Politics welcomed Dr. Charles Edel to give a book lecture titled Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams and the Grand Strategy of the Republic. During the lecture, Dr. Charles Edel examined the early life, characteristics, and experiences of John Quincy Adams. Looking at Adams’ service as a senator, diplomat, secretary of state, President of the United States, and congressman, it’s easy to see how influential he was in crafting state policy. Adam’s diligence, strength of character and patience allowed him to craft a multi-tiered policy across his various experiences in public office that insulated the nation from the quarrels of European nations, expanded the US territory and inspired the American people to seize “Manifest Destiny,” and harnessed the natural resources of the land, shaped domestic policy, education and commerce. Dr. Edel furthermore stressed Adams’ grand strategy, which includes protection of the American ideals of republicanism and democracy. Afterwards he took questions from the audience, where he reinstated Adams’ vision on American progress and leadership, where only Washington can control and steer America to success and power, these aforementioned points and ideas coupled with the rest of the material from the informative and eye-opening lecture, educated the listener about the key importance Adams had on American policy-which would lead the United States to become a superpower.
While the rise of the United States from a loose confederacy of colonies to a world superpower may be seen as inevitable, Dr. Charles Edel’s biography of John Quincy Adams provides the argument that John Quincy Adams is the first grand strategist of the United States’ destiny as a world power. Looking at his life experiences, Dr. Edel analyzes John Quincy Adam’s strategies and experiences that proved to shape key points of American policy.
Dr. Edel possess a Ph.D. in History from Yale University, and a B.A. in Classics from Yale College, he also worked as a Henry Luce scholar at Peking University’s Center for International and Strategic studies. He has also been awarded the Council on Foreign Relations’ International Affairs Fellowship. In previous lines of work, he served as a political and counterterrorism analyst in the U.S. government, worked as a research associate at the Council of Foreign Relations, and taught high school history in New York. Furthermore, he currently serves in the U.S. Naval Reserves as an intelligence officer.
He has published “Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams and the Grand Strategy of the Republic (Harvard University Press, 2014), and is currently working on a book related to the role of foreign revolutions in American history.