Mel Leffler Examines Cold War Legacies

Melvyn P. Leffler, the Edward Stettinius Professor of American History at the University of Virginia and currently a Wilson Center Fellow, presents “Cold War Legacies” at the next Washington Weekly Seminar on Monday, October 18 at 4:00 pm at the Wilson Center.

Professor Mel LefflerIn the various interpretations of the end of the Cold War, lessons can be gleaned about defining threats, designing goals, setting priorities, and making tradeoffs.  What proved most important in the Cold War was not superior military capabilities, not artful foreign policies, and not sophisticated public diplomacy.  What proved most important was the capacity of the West to stabilize, adjust, and calibrate its political economy in ways that it had not done in the first half of the twentieth century.

Click here to see a video of his presentation.

Melvyn P. Leffler is the author of A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (1992), and For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War (2008).  Most recently, he co-edited (with Odd Arne Westad) the three-volume Cambridge History of the Cold War (2010).

Reservations are requested because of limited seating.  To reserve a seat at the seminar, contact Miriam Cunningham at 202-544-2422 ext 103 or email.  The seminar takes place at the Wilson Center, located in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center (an initiative of the American Historical Association) and the Wilson Center. Wm. Roger Louis and Christian Ostermann are the co-directors. The seminar meets weekly during the academic year, January to May and September to December. Click here for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as videos and podcasts. The seminar is grateful for the support given by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

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