Publications - Individual

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Faculty Member Publications

Listed below are some of the publications from Melvyn P. Leffler , Edward Stettinius Professor of History .

For the Soul of Mankind

The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War
( Hill & Wang, 2007 )

To the amazement of the public, pundits, and even the policymakers themselves, the ideological and political conflict that endangered the world for half a century came to an end in 1990. How did that happen? What had caused the cold war in the first place, and why did it last as long as it did? To answer these questions, Melvyn P. Leffler homes in on four crucial episodes when American and Soviet leaders considered modulating, avoiding, or ending hostilities and asks why they failed. He then illuminates how Reagan, Bush, and, above all, Gorbachev finally extricated themselves from the policies and mind-sets that had imprisoned their predecessors, and were able to reconfigure Soviet-American relations after decades of confrontation.

The Specter of Communism

The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953
( Hill & Wang, October 1994 )

The Specter of Communism is a concise history of the origins of the Cold War and the evolution of U.S.-Soviet relations, from the Bolshevik revolution to the death of Stalin. Using not only American documents but also those from newly opened archives in Russia, China, and Eastern Europe, Leffler shows how the ideological animosity that existed from Lenin's seizure of power onward turned into dangerous confrontation. By focusing on American political culture and American anxieties about the Soviet political and economic threat, Leffler suggests new ways of understanding the global struggle staged by the two great powers of the postwar era.

A Preponderance of Power

National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War
( Stanford, July 1993 )

The most comprehensive history to date of the Truman administration's progressive embroilment in the Cold War.

The Elusive Quest

America's Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919-1933
( North Carolina, April, 1979 )

The Cambridge History of the Cold War

( Cambridge, March 2010 )

In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11

( Cornell University Press, June, 2011 )

In Uncertain Times considers how policymakers react to dramatic developments on the world stage. Few expected the Berlin Wall to come down in November 1989; no one anticipated the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September 2001. American foreign policy had to adjust quickly to an international arena that was completely transformed.Melvyn P. Leffler and Jeffrey W. Legro have assembled an illustrious roster of officials from the George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations - Robert B. Zoellick, Paul Wolfowitz, Eric S. Edelman, Walter B. Slocombe, and Philip Zelikow. These policymakers describe how they went about making strategy for a world fraught with possibility and peril.



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