William Clinton's chief foreign policy legacy was a nation more divided on matters of external affairs than at any time since the culminating isolationist-internationalist clash of 1941—one resolved quite conclusively by the Japanese attack on Pe [...]
Webster's dictionary defines meliorism as "the belief or doctrine that the world tends to become better and that man has the power of aiding its betterment." Meliorism presumes that the world is not hopelessly corrupt, but rather that it can, throu [...]
For 45 years the Soviet Union gave the United States a global role, one amply supported by both the American people and much of the Western World. Behind the country's leadership, unprecedented in modern history, lay not only an abundance of power, e [...]
Traditions rest lightly on the American people. With the founding of the Republic two centuries ago, Americans, contemplating the rich continent before them as well as the possibilities afforded by their new Constitution, could anticipate one long [...]
After 40 years of Cold War, most of it not very puzzling, two approaches to the question of national security continue to struggle for control of the American mind. One views the world as essentially bipolar, with the United States and the U.S.S.R [...]
Wilson and His Peacemakers: American Diplomacy at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. By Arthur Walworth. W.W. Norton. $35.00.
Few events of history offer the amalgam of hope and tragedy to be found in the Versailles Conference of 1919. The horrors [...]
From its beginnings in the late 1940's America's Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union has rested on images of danger—what Walter Lippmann once described as "pictures in our heads." Animated generally by feelings of hostility, U.S. officials ha [...]
FOR those who believe that the foreign policy of the United States became unnecessarily expensive and demanding after mid-century, President Richard Nixon's foreign policy precepts, as embodied in his second inaugural, seemed promising enough. "The [...]
Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State, By Daniel Yergin. Houghton Mifflin. $15.00.
No less than the Second Hundred Years' War between England and France in the 18th century, the Cold War comprises a major divi [...]
There is one simple test of any government: how well does it advance the order, security, prosperity, and welfare of its citizens at home and defend their interests abroad? Such challenges, if easily stated, demand hard decisions, requiring taxes, [...]
For many Americans the world has become singularly dangerous. Through much of the 1970's the prevailing view of the Soviet Union, despite its burgeoning lead in conventional and nuclear power, had been reassuring. Facing potential enemies in Western [...]