Courtesy Reuters


One year’s perspective is a meager basis for judging the impact of any president on the course of American foreign policy. History provides some cautionary examples for both critics and supporters of President Clinton’s first year. Like Clinton, two earlier presidents, Harry Truman and Warren Harding, took office at historic moments when eras of great struggle had come to an end, when old enemies had been defeated and the world looked like a much safer place. Both came to be judged very differently by history than they were judged after their first year in office:

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