May 4: Doug Rossinow on “The Reagan Era: From a “New Cold War” to the “Washington Consensus”

During the decade of the 1980s, the foreign relations of the United States traced a surprising path from what many called a “new Cold War” with the Soviet Union to the ascendancy, by 1990, of the so-called “Washington Consensus” that governed global economics in the name of free trade and investment. Despite what some say, none of this was foretold or planned by American leaders when the 1980s began. In The Reagan Era, Doug Rossinow gives a full and rounded view of how the foreign policies of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush took America—through a sometimes chaotic path, one marked with war scares, troop deployments, indirect warfare, scandal, and diplomatic triumphs—to the edge of a new era of American predominance.

Doug Rossinow is professor of history at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of The Politics of Authenticity: Liberalism, Christianity, and the New Left (1998) and The Reagan Era: A History of the 1980s (2015), as well as other works. He has taught as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Oslo and he is a past president of the Peace History Society.

The seminar meets at 4:00 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support. Reservations requested because of limited seating.