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This profile was last updated on 9/30/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Paul A. Kramer

Wrong Dr. Paul A. Kramer?

Associate Professor of History

Phone: (615) ***-****  
Email: p***@***.edu
Local Address:  Tennessee , United States
Vanderbilt University
2100 West End Ave.Suite 700
Nashville , Tennessee 37203
United States

Company Description: Vanderbilt University Medical Center has built a strong reputation as a leader in medical education, research and patient care throughout the Southeast and the...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

79 Total References
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Hear Vanderbilt historian Paul ..., 30 Sept 2015 [cached]
Hear Vanderbilt historian Paul Kramer give his take on the immigration debate.
"In a lot of respects we have the discussion about immigration and the economy exactly reversed," says Paul A. Kramer, associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University. "There's a way that Americans often talk about immigration as if they're doing this enormous favor to immigrants by letting them in. In fact, immigrants play a crucial role in the U.S. economy and subsidize American consumer society with their labor, their consumption and the taxes they pay.
"Often, they can't receive those taxes back in benefits."
Kramer has written about immigration and border issues for the New Yorker and Slate, and been featured on National Public Radio. He has spent the last decade studying U.S. immigration history, and he's working on a book about the forces that push people into leaving their home countries and immigrating, including the United States' influence.
IT'S ECONOMICS "In a globalized economy, people are trying to make their way and put food on the table for their families in places where often the local economies aren't able to do that for them," Kramer says.
Much of the angst Americans are experiencing today over immigration has been felt by previous generations, Kramer says. For example, there are those who warn that immigration numbers are at a dangerous all-time high.
"That's simply not true," Kramer says. "We're definitely at a high moment, but there have been other high moments. We're more or less about where we were at the turn of the century, that fabled era of European immigration between roughly 1880 and the mid-1920s. We're certainly not being overrun."
BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP AN AMERICAN TRADITION Birthright citizenship has emerged as an issue in the Republican presidential primary race, a sign that concern over immigration has reached a new plateau, Kramer says.
The Republican Party was largely responsible for the passing of the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to anyone born on American soil. During Reconstruction after the Civil War, birthright citizenship was a tool to build a more inclusive population and move toward equal rights.
"Birthright citizenship is at this point a venerable American legal tradition," Kramer says. "It's one that sets the United States apart from most other societies, who often have much more rigid and exclusionary definitions of who gets to be a citizen."
RACISM AT CORE Race is really what's at the heart of a lot of the current antipathy to immigrants, Kramer says.
"When people talk about 'illegals' it's … not Canadians crossing into Maine," Kramer says. "They're talking about black and brown migrants whom many Americans are uneasy with. … The fact that there's that legal kind of cover for racism is a really important part of its success."
Picking on immigrants can be done without much risk because of their need to stay in the shadows. "They can and do fight back, but the formal avenues available to non-citizens are limited, thus making them likely scapegoats," Kramer says.
"But he says immigrants are going to keep coming no matter what.
"The question for me is not whether the United States can or should stop immigration," Kramer says.
Hear Vanderbilt historian Paul Kramer give his take on the immigration debate.
SHAFR Leadership | The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 20 Sept 2015 [cached]
Paul Kramer Vanderbilt University
Officers and Committees | American Studies Association, 7 April 2009 [cached]
Chair: Paul Kramer, Vanderbilt University - perspective, 6 April 2003 [cached]
"This was denounced as a cowardly way of fighting, a war of savages, not a man's war," says Paul Kramer, a historian at the Johns Hopkins University.
This was even true during the American Revolution, another example of an outmanned force outlasting its powerful opponent.
Kramer says during those same years, the United States, perhaps influenced by the British experience, was putting people into such camps in the Philippines.Similar measures were used 60 years later in Vietnam where the United States put rural residents into "protected hamlets."The strategy of trying to deny resources to the Viet Cong rebels led a press briefing officer to say, "We had to destroy that village to save it."
Eventually, these drawn-out struggles test the resolve of the major power.The British lost the American Revolution in part because the political decision was made that they had more important tasks for their military.They won the Boer War because they saw it through, though it took much longer and cost much more than expected in terms of money and lives.The United States continued fighting in the Philippines until it won there, but lost in Vietnam, despite few military setbacks, because the battle for legitimacy undermined political support on the home front.
Kramer says that when the fight with the insurgents in the Philippines began, the same sort of quick victory many expected in Iraq was predicted."This notion of a speedy campaign, a bloodless campaign, is often oversold," he says.
No matter how bitter the war, the peace may still be workable.Kramer reports that to end the conflict in the Philippines, America dangled the carrot of full participation by the insurgents in the new regime.The result was a staunch ally in World War II.
Afrikaner resentment of the British was kindled by the Boer War, but it was fueled by subsequent years of repression of their language and culture.A better peace settlement could have nipped that in the bud.
Historian Paul Kramer, in ..., 13 April 2006 [cached]
Historian Paul Kramer, in his new book "The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines" (University of North Carolina Press), details the long-forgotten history of the Philippine-American war and the 40-year occupation that followed.He argues that the Philippine adventure in many ways "rhymes" with the current U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Among the "eerier similarities," said Kramer, professor of history at The Johns Hopkins University:
"I'm not surprised at these parallels," Kramer said."Indeed, what's remarkable is our persistence in suppressing the memory of this earlier war, a persistence that I think is all that makes debacles like the present one 'surprising.'"
The U.S. experience in Vietnam is another example of the nation's inability to focus on the lessons of the Philippine-American War, he said.
"In all three conflicts," Kramer said, "U.S. officials predicted easy victories, underestimated guerrilla forces and, arrogantly assuming their objectives were universally shared, were shocked when U.S. troops were not greeted as 'liberators.'"
Kramer describes in "The Blood of Government," to be published April 17, how the Philippine-American War began in the unsettled aftermath of the Spanish-American War, the 1898 conflict that Secretary of State John Hay dubbed "a splendid little war."
Dewey's Pacific Squadron quickly defeated Spanish naval forces at Manila Bay, but the question remained, Kramer said, how U.S. forces should engage with a Philippine revolutionary movement that broke from Spain in June 1898 and declared the first republic in Asia.
It would in no sense be either "splendid" or "little," Kramer said.
Despite military censorship, word of U.S. atrocities traveled back home and was spread by anti-war activists organized into an Anti-Imperialist League, Kramer said.
Kramer's 538-page book deals both with the invasion and the occupation, telling of the first-ever attempt by U.S. forces to engage in overseas "nation-building" in collaboration with a local elite, even in the midst of ongoing violence.
"I did most of the research long before 9/11 or the U.S. invasion of Iraq," Kramer said, "and in many ways I was overtaken by the eruption of a new, aggressive imperial moment just as I was completing my manuscript on an eerily similar one just over a century ago."
"The challenge," he said, "has been to remain true to the idiosyncrasy and integrity of the past while trying to comment subtly and critically on the present: to allow the past and present to touch without subordinating my account of the earlier U. S. invasion to the questions being asked of the present conflict."
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