Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History Emeritus
Field & Specialties
History of U.S. Foreign Relations
B.S. Cornell 1966
Ph.D. Ohio State 1972
Confronting Saddam Hussein: George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq. New York: Oxford University Press, 2023.
Safeguarding Democratic Captialism (Princeton University Press, 2017).
Peril: Facing National Security Challenges, co-edited with Will Hitchcock (e-book, University of Virginia Press, 2016)
Shaper Nations: Strategies for A Changing World, co-edited with Jeff Legro and Will Hitchcock (Harvard University Press, 2016).
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.
Most Recent Articles and Essays:
“Iraq After Twenty Years,” Liberties, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring 2023): 162-84.
“Bush, 9/11, and the Roots of the Iraq War,” Foreign Affairs, March 23, 2023, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/bush-911-and-roots-iraq-war.
“What Really Took America to War in Iraq,” The Atlantic, January 23, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/01/fear-power-and-hubris-bush-and-iraq-war/672759/.
“Ruminating During a Pandemic,” Diplomatic History, vol. 45 No. 3 (2021): 517-24.
“The Decider: Why Bush Chose War in Iraq,” Foreign Affairs, November/December, 2020 https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2020-10-13/decider.
“China Isn’t the Soviet Union. Confusing the Two is Dangerous,” The Atlantic, December 2, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/cold-war-china-purely-optional/601969/.
“Avoiding Another Cold War,” China International Strategy Review, 1 (2019): 205-12.
“Divide and Invest: Why the Marshall Plan Worked,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2018, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2018-06-14/divide-and-invest.
“The Strategic Thinking that Made America Great: Europe First and Why It Still Matters,” Foreign Affairs, August 10, 2018, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2018-08-10/strategic-thinking-made-america-great.
“The Worst First Year of Foreign Policy Ever,” Foreign Policy, September 19, 2017.
“Trump’s Delusional National Security Policy,” Foreign Affairs, December 21, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/trumps-delusional-national-security-strategy.
I continue to write articles and essays about the Cold War, political economy, and national security.
Awards & Honors
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.