I specialise in twentieth century American history, particularly the history of U.S. foreign relations. I am interested in the numerous ways in which power (broadly defined) is projected, negotiated, and challenged inside and outside the United States. More specifically, my work considers U.S. relations with Europe with attention to the role of state and transnational actors. My research, publications, and teaching revolve on these general themes.
My first book on the United States, Italy, and political warfare in the early cold war was published by Cambridge University Press. I have published articles in journals including Diplomatic History and Cold War History and guest edited a special issue of Intelligence and National Security. I am currently working on a project that examines dissenting voices to American foreign relations in the twentieth century, particularly the emergence of transnational whistleblowers.
I am happy to supervise research students working on U.S. foreign relations; international and diplomatic history; the international and transnational history of the Cold War; intelligence and cultures of secrecy; modern Italy.
I joined UEA in 2011. Previously I held postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of Warwick (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow) and University College Dublin (IRCHSS Scholar). I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Birmingham and also studied at the University of California, Los Angeles and University of Padua, Italy. I'm an Associate of the LSE IDEAS Cold War Studies Programme and have also held visiting positions at New York University, University of Bologna, and University of Oxford.
The United States, Italy and the Origins of Cold War: Waging Political Warfare 1945–1950UEA Repository
Narrating Covert Action: The CIA, Historiography and the Cold War
(Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary)
Approaches to Understanding the Inaugural CIA Covert Operation: Exploding Useful MythsUEA Repository
The CIA and US Foreign Policy since 1947: Reforms, Reflections and ReappraisalsUEA Repository
Re-Thinking American Intervention in the 1948 Italian Election: Beyond a Success-Failure DichotomyUEA Repository
Illusions of Coherence: George F Kennan, US Strategy and Political Warfare in the Early Cold War, 1946-1950UEA Repository
La Dinamiche delle relazioni italo-statunitensi nel dopoguerra, l'interventismo americano e il ruolo di James C DunnUEA Repository
The Case for Political Warfare: Strategy, Organization & US Involvement in the 1948 Italian ElectionUEA Repository
Key Research Interests
My first project analysed U.S.-Italian relations and American foreign policy during the early years of the cold war. It explored the multiple strands of an alliance between state elites in Rome and Washington alongside an increasingly prominent international network of business, labour, and religious protagonists. Analysing the struggle against the Italian left through all means short of war, it explores how the approach – termed ‘political warfare’ – appeared to outline a way to defeat communism around the world without the risks of full-scale hot war. My book, The United States, Italy, and the Origins of Cold War: Waging Political Warfare, 1945-1950 was published by Cambridge University Press (2014). To hear more about the book there are some interviews at http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2014/08/war-short-of-war/ and http://newbooksinhistory.com/2015/03/11/kaeten-mistry-the-united-states-italy-and-the-origins-of-cold-war-waging-political-warfare-cambridge-up-2014/.
A second project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, examined the public debates surrounding American interventionism and covert action since 1945. Focusing on the multiple - and frequently conflicting - narratives crafted by politicians, spies, journalists, scholars, and activists, it considered the intellectual struggle to shape understanding of U.S foreign relations, especially the CIA. I have published articles and guest edited a special issue of Intelligence and National Security that examines these themes.
I am currently working on a project that examines dissenting voices to American foreign relations in the twentieth century, particularly the emergence of transnational whistleblowers.
I teach courses on twentieth century American history, U.S. foreign relations, the Cold War, intelligence, and protest and dissent.