Russell Crandall is professor of Latin American Studies and international politics at Davidson College in North Carolina, USA. At Davidson, Crandall held the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professorship and has been awarded the college’s two student-granted outstanding teaching awards.
He’s been a visiting fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
In the past, he has taken time off from the classroom to serve as principal director for the Western Hemisphere at the Department of Defense and White House national security aide to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He served as a special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a consultant for the World Bank, Andean Development bank, and the United Nations. He’s also worked with Catholic Relief Services in Colombia and Ecuador and taught first grade in Comayagua, Honduras. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Bowdoin College, his undergraduate alma mater, and holds a life membership at the Council on Foreign Relations. Until 2018, he was a board member at Americas Quarterly magazine.
Crandall is a contributing editor and Latin America book reviewer at the London-based journal of international security, Survival; he has written for newspapers and magazines such as the Wall Street Journal, New Republic, Americas Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, Christian Science Monitor.
His books include: The Salvador Option: The United States in El Salvador, 1977-1992 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) America’s Dirty Wars: Irregular Warfare from 1776 to the War on Terror (Cambridge, 2014); The United States and Latin America after the Cold War (Cambridge, 2008); Driven by Drugs: U.S. Policy Toward Colombia (Lynne Rienner, 2nd edition, 2008); Gunboat Democracy: U.S. Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006).
His latest and upcoming books are: Drugs and Thugs: The History and Future of America’s War on Drugs (Yale University Press, 2020); (with Britta Crandall) “Our Hemisphere”?: The United States in Latin America, from 1776 to the 21st Century (Yale). He is currently writing a book on politics and revolution in Latin America since 1492. Crandall received his BA from Bowdoin College (1994, summa cum laude) and MA and PhD (1998, 2000, highest honors) from Johns Hopkins University.