Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley
This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations
with History" series, and uses Interne technology to share with the public
Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas. Archival photos in this
interview are courtesy of Yegor Gaidar.
Welcome to a Conversation on International Affairs. I'm
Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International
Studies. Our guest today is John Lewis Gaddis, who is Distinguished Professor
of History at Ohio University. Professor Gaddis is the author of several
books, including The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941
to 1947, and Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar
National Security Policy.
- Origins of the Cold War ... George
Kennan and containment ... evolving meaning in containment doctrine ... all-encompassing
view vs. harboring of resources ... public opinion
- Presidents and Presidential Elections ... running "against the Russians"
... surprising tenacity of campaign rhetoric in policy ... unknown role of
nuclear weapons ... Reagan as negotiator ... American self-confidence
- Living without External Threat ... Gorbachev deprives US of an enemy ...
the need for external threat ... bureaucracy built on Cold War ... "vision"
depends on crisis ... Cold War as "long peace" ... international stability
... mediocrity and incrementalism ... mustering a vision without an enemy
... possible future crises
- Crafting a Better Future ... need for good presidential advisors ... hands-off
president ... public support ... a sense of proportion ... willingness to
use our resources ... using the lessons of history appropriately ... historian's
sense of tragedy ... taking hope in the good
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