Melvyn P. Leffler

Melvyn P. Leffler

Edward Stettinius Professor of History (1986)

On Leave: Fall 2015

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30-4:00

Office: Nau 452

Phone: (434) 924-6422

Email: mpl4j (at)

Fields & Specialties

History of U.S. Foreign Relations


B.S. Cornell 1966
Ph.D. Ohio State 1972

Publications, Awards, and Activities

In Uncertain Times: U.S. Foreign Policy After the Berlin Wall and 9/11, co-edited with Jeff Legro (Cornell University Press, 2011).

Cambridge History of the Cold War, 3 vols., co-edited with Odd Arne Westad (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

To Lead the World: American Strategy After the Bush Doctrine, co-edited with Jeff Legro (Oxford University Press, 2008).

For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War (Hill & Wang, 2007).  Winner of the George Louis Beer Prize, American Historical Association, 2008.

The Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953 (Hill & Wang, 1994).

A Preponderance of Power: National Security, The Truman Administration, and the Cold War. Stanford University Press, 1992. Winner of the Bancroft, Hoover, and Ferrell Prizes, 1993.

The Elusive Quest: America's Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919-1933. University of North Carolina Press, 1979.

Miegunyah Distinguished Fellowship, University of Melbourne, Fall 2015

UVA Thomas Jefferson Award for excellence in scholarship, 2014 

Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Bologne, April-May 2014

Graebner Prize for career achievement and contributions, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2012

Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center, 2010-11.

Visiting Scholar, Christ College, Cambridge University, Fall 2007.

Randolph Jennings Fellow, United States Institute of Peace, 2004-2005.

Henry Kissinger Fellow, Library of Congress, 2004-2005.

Harmsworth Professor, University of Oxford, 2002-2003.

Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center, 2001-2002.

Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, 1997-2001.

President, Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, 1994.

Fellowship, Norwegian Nobel Peace Institute, 1993, 1997, 2011.

American Council of Learned Societies, Fellowships, Grants-in-Aid, 1973, 1984-85.

Lehrman Institute Fellowship, 1984-85.

Most Recent Articles and Essays:

"Defense on a Diet," Foreign Affairs, Nov-Dec 2013, 65-76.

"The Foreign Policies of the George W. Bush Administration:Memoirs, History, Legacy," Diplomatic History, 37(April 2013): 1-27.

"Victory: The "State," the "West," and the Cold War," in Geir Lundestad, ed., International Relations Since the End of the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Current Research

I am currently beginning work on a book on George W. Bush and American foreign policy as well as continuing to write essays about the cold war, political economy, and national security.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

tel: (434) 924-7147; fax: (434) 924-7891
office: M-F 8 am to 4:30 pm
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