What Obama Might Learn from the Past: Bending History in the Direction of Justice

It is the nature of the political process that presidents campaign outside history and must then live within it. For Barack Obama, this meant promising a speedy withdrawal from Iraq, a stronger focus on defeating Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, firm but respectful relations with Russia and China, engagement with opponents like Iran, and progress with our […]

Obama and U.S. Foreign Policy

Historians, of all people, should understand the dangers of prematurely evaluating a President’s foreign policy record. Quite apart from all that we learn as archives open, the passage of time provides perspective. To take an obvious example: while few contemporary observers would celebrate it now, at the time, Ronald Reagan’s approach to Afghanistan was heralded […]