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The Venezuelan revolutionary Simon Bolívar has a remarkably elastic legacy. Ever since his death in 1830, Latin American politicians across the political spectrum have claimed to be his rightful heir. What Bolívar left behind, it turns out, was less a coherent set of ideas than an abstract vision of Latin American unity -- a vision that remains impossible today.
Anti-Americanism might have ebbed momentarily thanks to U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and support for the Arab Spring. But hostility is once again mounting in the Arab world. In Amaney Jamal's new book, she tries to determine why.
Foreign policy realists have long found inspiration in the ideas of Lord Castlereagh, who served as British foreign secretary during and after the Napoleonic Wars. A new biography of the statesman presents him as more ideological than is traditionally assumed, and suggests that his example is more relevant than ever -- and might even hold the key to solving Europe's ongoing crisis.
Two new books lament the outsized role of the military in Israeli national security decisionmaking, blaming the generals for favoring force over diplomacy. But the military has sometimes been a force for peace and moderation, and in truth the persistence of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the result of far more than just Israel's bureaucratic politics.
From the demise of the gold standard in the 1970s to the battle over financial reform today, Paul Volcker has helped shape U.S. economic policy for decades. A new biography underscores what today's public servants might learn from his storied career.
Vladimir Tismaneanu’s new book examines the evolving interpretations of communism and fascism. It turns out the two totalitarian ideologies had more in common than is often thought -- and the defenders of liberalism today would be well advised to learn from the struggles that brought them down.
Twenty years after the revolutions of 1989 brought down communism in Eastern Europe, a fresh crop of books attempts to unpack this epic story. The story these books tell is more of a civil war within the elite than of a revolt from below.
For centuries, all sorts of political movements have claimed the Hebrew Bible as their guide. But as Michael Walzer argues in his new book, the Bible offers no consistent political program. Better to read it, suggests the United Kingdom’s chief rabbi, as a text on how to run a society.
Today, the War of 1812 is all but forgotten. But as two recent books show, its legacies -- helping professionalize the U.S. military, planting the seeds of manifest destiny, and laying the groundwork for a long-standing Anglo-American alliance -- endure today.
A pathbreaking history of the Vietnam War reveals that the Northern government was far more divided and discouraged than commonly believed. Yet the fact remains that the United States and its allies in the South always faced very long odds of success.
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