Assistant Professor of History, Tulsa University.
Area of Research:
Modern American history, U.S. foreign relations history,
American empire, America and the world, American covert operations, war and society, American criminal justice
system and its internationalization, US War on Drugs, International police training programs.
Doctor of Philosophy, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, Completed May 2006
Dissertation: The Myth of the Addicted Army - Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs
Kuzmarov is the author of The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs
(Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009), and is currently writing
Modernizing Repression: Police Training and the Violence of Empire (Amhrest, MA: University of Massachusetts
Press, under contract).
Kuzmarov is also the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, and reviews including among others:"Modernizing Repression: Police Training, Political Violence and 'Nation-Building' in the American Century"
Diplomatic History (April 2009);"The Myth of the 'Addicted Army': Drug Use in Vietnam in Historical Perspective"
War and Society (October 2007);"From Counter-Insurgency to Narco-Insurgency: Vietnam and the International War
on Drugs" Journal of Policy History (Summer 2008);"American Police Training and Political Violence: From the Philippines Conquest to the Killing Fields of
Afghanistan and Iraq," The Asia-Pacific Journal, 11-1-10, March 15, 2010.
Kuzmarov is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Sachar Dissertation Award, Graduate Studies Association Brandeis University, 2004-2005;
Crown Fellowship, Brandeis University American History Department, 2002-2006.
Formerly Visiting Assistant Professor of History Bucknell University (2006-2009)
Kuzmarov's lecture"The Myth of the Addicted Army" at University of Arkansas-Fayetville, sponsored by the local
branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws was broadcast on CSPAN in February 2010.
I first became interested in history hearing stories from my grandfather, Oscar Weinstein, who passed away last
year at the age of 99 and had an incredible memory. Intellectually, my perspective was first shaped by a course that
I took at Dawson College in Montreal on the so-called anti-psychiatrists - R.D. Laing and Erich Fromm - whose idea
that mental illness was a social construct and a product of the pathologies and intolerance of society I found to
be compelling. At McGill University, I took a course on crime and punishment which introduced me to radical theories
of criminology and examined the social roots and construction of deviance in Western society. Then I read Noam
Chomsky, whose work on state crime and terrorism was (and remains) highly illuminating, and Alfred W. McCoy's on
the CIA's support for the global narcotics trade, which my own research on the topic confirmed to be right on the
My first book The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs draws on sociological theories
about"moral panics" and the construction of deviance in examining the origins and growth of the modern drug war.
I try and demonstrate how policy-makers and the media greatly exaggerated the scope and ravages of drug abuse in
the army, creating a climate of hysteria over drugs which supplanted public concern about the war itself and resulted
in the growth of repressive prohibition measures. The myth of the drug-addicted soldier took hold so widely in my
view because it provided a convenient political scapegoat, which helped to deflect attention away from the carnage
in Indochina, and to absolve of responsibility those responsible for perpetrating and expanding the war. The
second half of the book analyzes the consequences of the War on Drugs, including its link to the growth of the
carcerial state in the US and major human rights abuses internationally while at the same time failing to curb supply rates.
Building off this work, I am currently completing a book on American international police training programs
entitled Modernizing Repression. Adopting a comparative analysis, I chronicle how police programs have served as
an important mechanism for expanding American power from the conquest of the Philippines at the turn of the 20th
century through the 21st century occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and resulted in significant human rights
violations. This book combines my interests in criminal justice, US foreign policy and covert operations and
draws on many of the formative intellectual influences in my professional career and life.
By Jeremy Kuzmarov"The enduring quality of the myth of the addicted army in many respects demonstrates America's long-standing
inability to come to terms with the moral consequences of the Vietnam War. By reimagining their soldiers as victims
and the U.S. military defeat as a"tragedy," Americans were able to deflect responsibility for the massive
destruction and loss of life inflicted on the people of Southeast Asia and thus to avoid serious reconsideration
of the ideological principles that rationalized the American intervention. The silencing and demonizing of
dissenting voices, including antiwar GIs typecast as psychopathic junkies, aided in this process."
Jeremy Kuzmarov in"The Myth of the Addicted Army""With remarkable continuity, police aid was used not just to target criminals but to develop elaborate
intelligence networks oriented towards internal defense, which allowed the suppression of dissident groups to take
place on a wider scope and in a more surgical and often brutal way. In effect, the U.S. helped to modernize
intelligence gathering and political policing operations, thus magnifying their impact. They further helped
to militarize the police and provided them with a newfound perception of power, while schooling them in a hard-line
anticommunism that fostered the dehumanization of political adversaries and bred suspicion about grass-roots
mobilization…... Although the U.S. was not always in control of the forces that it empowered and did not always
condone their acts, human rights violations were not by accident or the product of rogue forces betraying American
principles, as some have previously argued. They were rather institutionalized within the fabric of American policy
and its coercive underpinnings." --
Jeremy Kuzmarov in"Modernizing Repression: Police Training, Nation-Building and the Spread of
Political Violence in the American Century," Diplomatic History, April 2009
About Jeremy Kuzmarov"The Myth of the Addicted Army will contend for best-book awards in history, sociology, and many fields of policy
studies. It is chock full of original research utilizing government documents and interviews with policy makers to
show how the war in Vietnam incubated the myth of widespread drug addiction among U.S. troops that became, in turn,
the back story to the homefront War on Drugs." -- Jerry Lembcke, author of The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory,
and the Legacy of Vietnam"What is so compelling about Jeremy Kuzmarov’s book is his careful depiction of how 'the myth of the addicted army'
was used for a variety of political and cultural purposes. He convincingly shows that Nixon adopted the drug policy
he did in order to advance his own political fortunes, and that Nixon's drug war set the terms of the discussion
in several ways. It obscured the real lack of evidence for a drug epidemic among GIs and set off an irrational
response to drug use that has been a staple of American politics and popular culture ever since." --
William O. Walker, author of Drug Control in the Americas
Top Young Historians' profiles edited by Bonnie K. Goodman